Ingredients: 1 kg of eggplants, ½ kg of pork or beef, 300 gr. Bread crumbs, 300 gr. of grated pecorino (sheep’s cheese), parsley, 2 eggs, ½ onion chopped, olive oil, salt and ground black pepper.
After having washed and dried the eggplants, divide them in half removing the pulp. Salt the pulp and the empty skins. Leave for a short time. Boil them for a few minutes and then cut the pulp into pieces. Mix the pulp with the bread crumbs, the pecorino, parsley, pepper, onion and eggs. Mix well and fill the empty skins of the eggplants. Put them in the tomato sauce and cook.
In the country the summer colours are vibrant and bright. The golden corn is reaped. The days become shorter but the temperatures are still high. In the country the grapes are nearly ripe. The olives and many other plants and fruit begin to appear. Watermelons, melons, figs, vegetables, tomatoes and eggplants are ready for eating. In Spezzano the families preserve many of these summer products that will be stored away for the winter. Dried figs or eggplants in oil or pickled, tomato sauce etc.
On August 15, Assumption Day, is celebrated. Thanks is given to the Virgin for having helped the people of Spezzano to rid the town of the pro-Bourbon brigands on July 06 1806. This feast was later transferred to August at the end of the harvest time.
In August the traditional competition “Shtjerri” is repeated for all the people returning from their holidays to Spezzano (See February for a description of the Shtjerri).
The traditional competition to elect “Miss Arbëreshe achieves great success every year. A girl dressed in the traditional “Llambadhor” costume, is elected from the many participants who come from the other Arbëreshë towns. The competition takes place in the theatre named in memory of the director Vincenzo Pesce. The theatre is situated in a once abandoned and inaccessible place : “përroi Xhullumes”. From here there is a breathtaking view of the plain of Sibari, the Pollino mountains and the Ionian sea.
"Dried fig with almonds"
Ingredients: 2 kg of figs, 1 kg of almonds
Dry the figs in the sun for 20 days on wooden trays. Open out the figs by hand, leaving the two parts attached to the small stem. Take 2 figs and put them together to form a cross. Press well together and place an almond on each quarter. Place 2 more figs on top. Bake in a slow oven. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and place them in airtight tins.