Pastella: Another Dream from Palermo’s Menu

A snippet from the article I wrote for Dream of Italy‘s April issue about Palermo and its street food… Pastelle, pictured, are deep-fried, hand-held dreams. Vegetables such as broccoli, carduna, artichoke hearts, eggplant, and squash are coated with a thick flour-and-water batter, while sardines are lightly battered. One could compare them with Japanese tempura, yet with…

Daily Bread

For Sicilians, a daily ritual is going to the panificio (a bakery) or the fornaio (a bakery with a serious oven) to purchase your bread for lunch and/or dinner. There’s nothing like fresh bread — like this batch I photographed in Bagheria. Mmmm….

Catania’s Rice Balls

I’ve told you about the Palermo-style arancina–a breaded and fried rice ball with a center of peas, caciocavallo cheese, and beef ragu that looks like an orange. Important to note: the end of the word is an A. ArancinA. Well, in Catania, on the east side of Sicily, they have a similar recipe, but with…

Jumping Tastebuds

I’ve known about zibibbo wine, which is a Marsala-like, dark wine I’ve drank in local trattorie and bars in Palermo, but last night at a special dinner hosted by Italy’s Best Foods importer Gustiamo, I had some of this zibibbo syrup, or what they call an elixir, in my welcome aperitivo. Oh my, my tastebuds…

Yes, Couscous.

Seafood couscous is a staple dish of western Sicilian cuisine. This one, pictured, was one of tens of international recipes with different ingredients served at the September 2014 installation of the annual Couscous Fest in San Vito Lo Capo.