Citron: A Big, Ugly Fruit

Take a second look! These are not lemons, but citrons, cultivated by my cousins Evelina and Salvo in their front garden. In Sicily between Christmas and the end of April, the landscape is in bloom with fragrant, juicy citrus fruits such as these. Cultivated for its thick, white, fragrant rind, citron makes an out-of-this-world marmalade…

Sicilian Christmas Cookies

Pastries made with filling of chopped dried figs, pumpkin jam, honey, raisins, almonds, orange rind, cinnamon, and Marsala wine are closely associated with Christmas in Sicily. There is a larger, round, cake-like pastry called buccellato, which is also made in an elaborate cookie-sized version known as buccellati. Meanwhile, cuccidati, pictured here, are their sister. They…

Cannoli By Season

Join me! Cannoli Crawls in New York City October 13 and 27. More at https://experiencesicily.com/events/new-york-cannoli-crawl/ Meanwhile, since I’m currently in Sicily, my cannoli research continues! That means tasting a cannoli at a location I’ve been before, but during September, versus May. This one at La Ruota in Piazza Armerina remains top five! “The season makes…

Sweet Smiles and Sweet Squash

Meet Chef Antonino Elia and his new friend from Caruso Bar-Pasticceria in Sambuca di Sicilia. They are holding cucuzza, a type of squash that is in season now. Now, these cucuzza are particular because the Caruso family cultivates them to make the sweet paste that they use in their pastries, specifically the Minni di Virgini…

Blooming Figs

Did you know that figs are like flowers, and they open up and “bloom” when the conditions are just right? Here’s a look. It’s fig season right now, and if you are lucky enough to be in Sicily over the next month, you can pick the figs right off the trees, clean them, and eat…

Cherry Season

Sicilians eat seasonally, so from mid-May to about right now, they have been enjoying a lot of cherries (ciliegie). Don’t tell the vendor in the Mercato Antico of Siracusa, but while in Ortigia, I enjoyed a few myself! (I cannot tell a lie, really, he was right there!) When planning your trip to Sicily, find…