Le Mamme del Borgo
Every summer Sunday, the "moms" – as they are affectionately called – open their houses and their kitchens to anyone interested in knowing the ways in which the town creates the traditional Sicilian receipts.
Motta Camastra is a small Medieval town situated in a hill on the Northern-Eastern part of Sicily. The town boasts a beautiful central medieval square and a stunning view on the Alcantara Valley. Despite its attractions, the population of the village, that amounts today to about 800 people, has been in constant decline since decades. The moms, worried that the knowledge of the local culture and the knowledge of the cuisine of the town is in danger, decided to unify and offer a possibility to those still living there and to the tourists. This possibility is synthetized by a home-made meal. The phenomenon of social eating is based on a project born in Apulien in Tricase Porto: a way to sustain the town in continuous depopulation.
All the profits deriving from the meals that the moms of the town cook are reinvested in the project itself. A day in which to have lunch or dinner with the moms is a mixture of a street food festival and a family-run restaurant. Each mom takes responsibility for making a single traditional meal, served directly from their own kitchens. In the house of a mom, a ricotta cheese might be served. In another stop, one can find the arancinu with walnut pesto; in another instead one can find the caponata, the meatballs cooked in limon’s leaves, maccheroni, baked lamb and a walnut crostata (pie).
In the course of the day, the guests walk from one house to the other, chatting with th moms and their families, while enjoying the meals on the tables in the streets of Motta Camastra.
It didn’t take long for the project of the moms of the town to spread and today, after only three years from the creation, the Associazione La Gemma of Motta Camastra prepares traditional Sicilian meals for a number of people comprised between 60 to 90 every Sunday, starting from the late spring to the beginning of autumn.
Now "Mamme del Borgo" has become a brand, with the aim to create an Italian network of "diffused restaurants", in which women living in small villages are the main characters.
«We are less than 800 inhabitants» says Mariangela Currò who organizes the group of moms – «with our initiative we make the town live again, beyond the summer season. The products that we use are all local and we allow peasants and farmers to work. It is a perfect combination of street food and home restaurant, that follow the trend of the social eating».