Strong and elemental, Sicily retains an unconquered character and romantic spirit, and you can taste it in her food. Greek ruins dot the landscape. Arabian eggplants, lemons, saffron and nutmeg thrive in rich volcanic soil. Local artisans hand-make chocolates and cheeses. Sicilian dishes draw on history but abound with independent ideas and innovative interpretations that stand apart from the cuisine of mainland Italy.
We coil our way through this dramatic region from Catania’s ancient rowdy markets, to coastal fishing villages, then on to the lesser-known introterra, home to noble wine estates. We make a pilgrimage to Modica for hand-produced chocolates and Noto for the world’s best gelato. We take walks through the countryside, enter private kitchens, gentle olive groves and gardens bursting with flavor. In this way, Sicily reveals her secrets to us.
Inspiration: The late Anna Tasca Lanza and the fabulous Fabrizia Lanza. Case Vecchie and the estate of Regaleali. The garden. Fresh artichokes and fresh green chick peas. Biancomangiare. Fico d’India. Grillo. Ciocolato di Bonajuto. Marzamemi. The booming cacophony of the Catania fish market. Scoops of gelato at Cafe Sicilia.
From my journal…
I opened my eyes and found heavenly hills in my face, like breasts and hips, curvaceous and steep; I felt held by a dark fertile mother. Vines fell down her sides like tightly braided cornrows. She was unmovable, a mountain of soft strength, sensual and giving, an invisible yet tangible force of nature. I did not need to reach my hand out to touch what was already a part of me.