The Cloister’s Secrets

In the heart of Palermo between the fountain of shame and the red-domed church of San Cataldo stands the monastery of Santa Caterina.

The history of the nuns who lived there and the desserts prepared by them is famous throughout the city, so much so that the church in front of the monastery directly took the name of the most requested dessert: La Martorana. A paste of almond flour and sugar very well mixed and worked … in silence! Yes, because the nuns who entered the monastery respected the vow of silence. All communications were made by gestures and the recipes were thus handed down from sister to sister only by the typical “watch and learn”.

The wheel of the little door under the stairway turned quickly every Easter. The offer entered and the almond paste sheep came out. … Delicious!