Do you know how we celebrate Christmas in Balagne?
In Corsica, after the midnight mass, the inhabitants meet in the square of the church, around a fire "U Rocchiu", burning for the occasion. The week before Christmas, the village's youth gathered branches, trunks, stumps and other debris from the inhabitants’ garden, who were honored to participate in the common effort. Back at home, we took a snack, with figatellu grilled in the fireplace, zucchini fritters, chestnuts and a piece of fiadone (Corsican cake). The kids were given a Christmas orange. On the table, there was always one more plate, "the plate of the poor" (u piattu di u puvarettu), as an act of solidarity. “U Rocchiu” burned until the early morning, where the inhabitants came to recover the ashes still incandescent to revive their own fireplace.
The Christmas meal was a real menu, a bit like today. An entry with prisuttu and coppa, or scrambled eggs with sea urchins. As a main dish, roast lamb and pulenda (polenta) are still effective today. For dessert, the traditional chestnut Christmas log, local production obliges. If you want to follow some of these recipes, the sites dedicated to Corsican cooking are not lacking. As for fine books, the inevitable editions of Paul Silvani will delight the cooker who is waiting to express his interest in our good Corsican products.
Merry Christmas to all! – «Bon Natale a tutti !» as we say here.