If there’s one word to describe Sicily’s Aeolian Islands: authentic. The collection of seven islands off the coast of Sicily are thriving and forward thinking, but deeply steeped in tradition that is a unique combination of Italian, Sicilian, and distinctly Aeolian. Whether it is the distant rumble from the active volcano on Stromboli, the breathtaking oceanic views, or the entrancing aromas from the seaside kitchens, we are hooked – and you will be too.
We were recently in the Aeolian Islands, surrounded by active volcanoes, delicious food and wine and wonderful friends at the table. What better way to reflect on the moment than sharing a poem?
This soulful poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, was written in 1952 but feels eternal just like the volcanoes around us.
Enjoy ~ and join us in our Culinary Adventure next year!
“So Much Happiness”, by Naomi Shihab Nye
“It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.
On our trip to Sicily and the Aeolian Islands, we have the opportunity to prepare dishes using traditional Sicilian ingredients, including an expectedly delicious twist on ice cream – with salty, pungent capers.
Capers are one of Sicily’s main crops, and are meticulously picked by hand and then either pickled or salted to preserve them and give them their distinctive taste. Traditionally served in savory dishes, our capers ventured their way into some ice cream!
The ice cream was served in a “roof tile” made out of Sicilian chocolate. This chocolate is equally as special because the sugar is added into the chocolate after it has cooled, so it does not melt, giving the chocolate a grainy – and delightful – texture. More info can be found HERE on one of the oldest chocolate factories in Sicily.
Sailing in the azure seas
The winds blow northerly as we head straight into them on our way to the isle of Capri after sailing around Ischia and Procida in the Bay of Naples. I feel like we’ve been on a sea-fari. We see mythical islands, mix with the elements, while staying safe on our boat protecting ourselves not from wild animals, but a deep blue unpredictable sea and sky. Our captain reads the weather like a book, knowing when and where to go. It’s like being in the hands of a magician.
This is just one of the things that I love about Sicily. You drive down a rural road and your heart stops. It’s not only that traditions are carrying on with the young, and you can have a conversation, it’s that the sound of the bells is symphonic and the whole scene is bucolic and relaxing.
We had just been to Filipo’s farm with @fabrizialanza to witness the making of pecorino from start to finish and taste super soft creamy ricotta, still warm. The fields are full of wild flowers, the air is still cool and the sky blue. What more? #swoon @gowithpeggy #sicily #freshricotta #rurallife #pecorino
From Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BFszJpin_8I/
This is an empty bench where Franco Ruta used to sit outside of Antica Dolceria Bonajuto with his stubby Toscano. His presence is sorely missing in Modica.
@bonajuto is the oldest Dolceria in Sicily, famous for its delectable chocolate since 1880. Franco brought the attention to this small Baroque town in southern Sicily and put it on the world’s foodie map in the most clever way.
“Niente e Nuovo”. His dry sense of humor, wry smile and good heart was as toothsome as his chocolate.
Online orders can be made here: http://www.bonajuto.it/en/ or join us in Sicily to experience the chocolaty goodness in person!
See original post on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BFhm2wlH__g/
Modern nomads want connection and authentic experiences…
Italy, in many ways, has taught me to love. In Tuscany, I think of chefs like Fabio Picchi, who radiates an eccentricity and passion for everything he touches. Or Giorgio, my favorite farmer at the Sant’Ambrogio Market, cupping a fresh artichoke in his dirt-covered hands, bundling up a bouquet of fresh herbs for me to take home along with my vegetables. I think of laundry strung above the alleyways and the texture of old stone and crumbling plaster as I walk through the narrow streets of Florence, which open up to wide piazzas filled with swooping swallows.
We all have places like this, and discover new ones each time we travel. Places that remind us to fall in love with our own lives.
What brings you alive?
What brings me alive is the active participation of being
in a culture different from my own,
relating with a heightened sense of awareness and an open heart looking for a way in.
I feel we have found a way through food to build a bridge for meaningful conversation. In doing so, we are creating a more peaceful world. After 24 years, I have gained significant confidence and trust to move between cultures. We need an antidote to this somewhat crazy world and what better way than making and breaking bread with the light of our own smiles?
The soil has been turned over and our seedlings of Culinary Adventures have been planted with you in mind. May the sun’s light bring fruition when the time is right for you to join us on one of these significant journeys. [Read more…]