Herb and Jenny are spending the night, along with their kids Marlon and Leroy, as they pass through New Orleans. We walked up to Venezia for dinner, then over a block to Bracato’s for desert. Leroy fell asleep and had to be carried.
As always, I had to get some scadalina at Bracato’s. It’s a mysterious treat that has intrigued me for years. They sit in a big jar on the counter labeled “dead man bones.” They are crunchy and hard and taste like cloves. I googled the word “scadalina” a long while back and got only one result: Bracato’s menu. Odd.
“Dead man bones,” or “osso dei morte,” refers to a Sicilian confection also called scadalina or skidelina. As interpreted at the 103-year-old Angelo Brocato Ice Cream & Confectionery, it’s a hard clove-flavored white cylinder perched on one side of a firm brown cookie.
A search for the alternate spelling “skidelina” returns more results, but strangely enough almost every reference seems to mention New Orleans and Brocato’s. I wonder if the Italians spell it yet another way, or if this is an old world tradition that survives only in Mid-City New Orleans?