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.

Sfincione for Christmas Eve in Sicily

Very different from our Italian-American tradition for Christmas Eve, which is to have a large, family meal often featuring fish, the tradition my cousins in Bagheria, Sicily follow for “La Vigilia,” is to have sfincione Bagherese along with pan-fried cardoon (artichoke thistle) and maybe a small serving of pasta. Pictured is my cousin Evelina’s favorite…

Hands-on Sicily

Visiting the vibrant markets of Sicily is a crash course in Sicilian cuisine, the natural world, and culture all at once. Here, I’m in Il Capo market in Palermo getting a lesson on spatola (or spatula aka silver scabbarfish or lepidopus caudatus) from the fish monger. Spatola is a beautiful silver, long fish found in…

Where Should We Eat?

You’ve just woke up after a nap you took to recover from your overnight, international flight. You are hungry. You only have so many dinners to enjoy in Sicily. Now, what? Planning an international trip can be daunting for many people. And Sicily specifically, is so rich with things to do–and food to eat!–and is…

You Can Too

These are the able hands of my husband, Joe, making the typical fresh pasta, busiate, from Trapani. Joe, along with our traveling companion, Fred, made a big beautiful bowl of busiate during our hands-on cooking class in Trapani’s historic center. (I contributed too, but my ringlets weren’t as well-formed around those darn reeds!). You too…

Cooking Couscous in Sicily

On the second day of our just finished “Secret Sicily” tour, we got our hands dirty while making Trapani-style pesto and fresh busiate pasta (an upcoming post) and this, pictured: Couscous from raw grain! Yes, we practiced the message-style, meditative hand technique that is required to create the proper couscous texture, and we made the…

A Different Kind of Sandwich

One of my favorite things to eat in Sicily is panelle and cazzilli stuffed in a seasame seed bun (pictured). Panelle are flat chickpea-flour fritters made with fresh parsley, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil. Cazzilli, which is a vulgar way of saying “little penises,” are potato croquettes made with mashed potatoes, fresh parsley (or…

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…

Sicily’s Rare Goat, the Capra Girgentana

Distinguished by their spiral, tall horns and long hair, this rare breed of goat, called capra girgentana, is valuable for its milk that possesses an equal amount of fat to protein. The name girgentana recalls the old Sicilian name of the city of Agrigento, Girgenti.  During the mid-twentieth century, throughout southwestern Sicily, girgentana goats numbered…