Showing posts from 2017

7 Sicilian Fish Dishes for Christmas Eve

The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner thought to have originated in Sicily and it is a wonderful traditional feast to share with friends and loved ones. Christmas Eve is a vigil or fasting day and the abundance of seafood reflects the tradition of abstinence from red meat until the actual feast of Christmas Day itself. It is a meal that typically consists of seven different seafood dishes. In Sicily and Southern Italy it is known as La Vigilia (The Vigil) which commemorates the wait, the Vigilia di Natale , the midnight birth of the baby Jesus. The long tradition of eating seafood on Christmas Eve dates from the Roman Catholic tradition of abstaining from eating meat during certain times of the year. As no meat or animal fat can be used on these days, observant Catholics would instead eat fish, typically fried in oil. In Sicily, Christmas Eve dinner is much more important than Christmas Day festivities. The most famous dish for Sicilian

"Little Italy" London ... Gangsters, Gelato and Garibaldi

What is the first thing you should do when you visit a new city? Go on a walking tour of course ..... Ok so London is not new to me, I grew up in London, but there is always something new to discover in our beautiful city and walking tours are always a great idea. Growing up in South London the area I lived in had a large community of Italian families and therefore a lot of kids I went to school with were Italian with many of their parents coming from Sicily. Being invited to a friend's house after school to play was always exciting fun and involved being fed full with wonderful Mediterranean food such as pasta, pizza and ice cream. Last month I joined a walking tour of Clerkenwell and the area around Hatton Garden with my friend Trisha.Trisha and I met when we were seventeen years old when we both started working in a high street bank, we bonded over a mutual love of all things Italian. We shared the same fun loving silly gene and we have been friends ever since. We once

... an abundance of Olives

Sicily is where Europe ends and Africa begins. It began its history as part of Ancient Greece and soon became part of the Roman Empire. Thereafter the island was invaded by the Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, French, Spanish and Bourbons before unifying with Italy. Each conquest left its mark on the island and its abundant produce. When you think of Sicilian cuisine one of the first things that spring to mind is olives and olive oil. Sicily’s olive oil is like liquid gold. Every Sicilian is passionate on the subject of olive oil especially their own. The beautiful olives were brought to the island by the Phoenicians and the Ancient Greeks who brought the art of cultivating the olive tree. Under Roman rule the Romans started the distribution of oil on a large scale to supply the needs of the whole of the Roman Empire. During Arabic rule the Arabs preferred to import their own oil and sadly uprooted many groves and replaced them with citrus groves. In the 18th century the Spanish r