carni i' crastu 'nfurnata
Patricio Calvo - CC4.0
The dish "carni i 'crastu' nfurnata", that is the meat of sheep or mutton in the oven, is a typical dish of the Taormina area. The preparation of this dish has Greek origins, imported into these districts by Greek colonists who arrived in Sicily more than 2600 years ago: the meat of an adult sheep is cooked without being sectioned, after being gutted and skinned, and the internal cavities are then fill with vegetable aromas in large quantities, such as rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, garlic, and black pepper. The cooking of the dish is also carried out following the ancient tradition: the whole animal is placed in a wood oven by placing it on terracotta tiles without using baking pans. The dish is generally served with a side dish of raw onion poached in vinegar.
It is a typical dish of summer festivals, and is consumed in large quantities on the occasion of the patronal feasts that are held every summer in the countries of the Ionian coast of province of Messina.