Sicily’s Cake: Cassata

There is much debate about the origins of cassata cake, but one thing is clear: it is as elaborate as the Baroque architecture one finds throughout Sicily–and it is as decadent. So much so, that until the mid-20th century, cassata was only eaten by the masses on Easter Sunday. Cassata is made up of sponge…

The Way To My Heart

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hearts made from the same pastry as cannoli shells?! Why, yes! Now, just add ricotta mousse and fresh strawberries, and you’ve found the way to *my* heart … and seen a preview of the dessert for our Experience Sicily Valentine’s Sicilian Style dinner on Saturday night, 16 February. We’ve got one seat…

Gelato Dreams

What’s your favorite flavor? Because on this, a day scientists have cited as the most depressing day of the year, dreams of gelato in Sicily can cheer us all up. Here’s a selection available from one of my favorite spots: La Rotunda in Casteldaccia, Palermo Province.

Cassatelle, The Other Sicilian Pastry

How is it that I’ve never written about this delectable Sicilian dessert: cassatelle di ricotta!? Cassatelle are turnovers (or sweet calzones) stuffed with a mixture of fresh ricotta, confectioners’ sugar, and chocolate chips. They are fried and upon being served, are dusted with confectioners’ sugar. When eaten still warm from the fryer, they are out…

Local Flavor

This cake, or should we say, work of art!, is from Antica Dolceria dell’Etna in the town of Zafferana Etnea. This Sunday, in Zafferana Etnea, they are celebrating what we might call Octoberfest. They call it Ottobrata, and tomorrow, the fourth Sunday of the annual fall harvest festival, will focus on mushrooms. Right now, for…