Castle In The Sky

Constructed starting in the 11th century, the Norman castle at Caccamo, Sicily sits atop a steep mountain overlooking a vast green valley in the province of Palermo. Thank you to my cousin Filippo Buttitta, who took this photo. Today, the medieval structure houses a civic museum and an excellent pizzeria, where we’ll eat lunch on…

My Lady, I’ll Have Pizza

The Normans made sure that their castle at Caccamo was impenetrable. With construction dating back to the 11th century, it sits atop a steep mountain overlooking a vast green valley and fresh water lake (a rarity in Sicily). Today, you are welcome to visit the Castello’s museum. The imposing structure also houses an excellent pizzeria,…

I Can’t Figgettabout Buccellato

These beautifully sculpted cookies are called buccellato (single pastry/cookie) or buccellati (plural). Buccellati are very closely associated with Christmas in Sicily. They are pastries stuffed with dried figs and raisins or chopped almonds and chocolate. These pictured, from Maria Grammatico Pasticceria in Erice, are of the fig variety. I don’t know Maria Grammatico’s recipe exactly,…

Oh, Bring Us Some Buccellato

During the month of December, especially in the mountain town of Caccamo in the province of Palermo, professional and home bakers prepare buccellato and other confections in celebration of Christmas. Buccellato is realized as a wreath-shaped cake or as pastries stuffed with dried figs and raisins or chopped almonds and chocolate. These buccellati pictured contain…