Showing posts from April, 2019

Sicily's Gourmet Salt

"You are not truly at home in Sicily until you have consumed seven handfuls of salt with your meals" an old Sicilian proverb Human beings need salt to live, not because it is an essential seasoning but in moderation it regulates the body's water supply and Ph balance. The sodium contained in salt ensures that nerves and muscles respond properly. Chloride contributes to the formation of stomach acid and is of critical importance in the absorption of nutrients. I can remember one time watching my adopted Sicilian big brother spread salt on half a lemon with a knife and then eat it. Eeeeeeeeeeek ... that was one part of Sicilian life I did not want to indulge in. About 30 per cent of table salt is derived from sea water and the remainder from subterranean salt deposits and salt works. Foodies swear by the intense flavour of sea salt, which is considered better for our health. However, most sea salt contains less than 2 per cent of important minerals such as

Cassata .. The Queen of all Easter Cakes

Easter is one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit Sicily. The climate is usually mild, the orange and lemon trees are heaving with their delicious fruit, the countryside is full of wild flowers and there are no summer crowds. In Sicily Easter is the most important religious date of the year and there are many festivals across the island during Holy Week, which include solemn processions and masses. It is an event that brings families and friends together and as is always the Sicilian way it is the perfect excuse for a gastronomic experience. In Sicily there are lots of interesting legends associated with many different desserts. One of these describes the creation of the Cassata , traditionally attributed to the court of an Emir during Arab rule in Palermo. Several centuries after his rule, in 1575, a document was found from the Synod of Mazara which certified that this particular dessert was indispensable for Easter festivities in Sicily. For many years fol

The Trinacria & How Sicily was Born ....

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Roald Dahl One the most of popular questions that I get asked when we are in Sicily is "What is the meaning behind the emblem of the Sicilian Flag called the Trinacria ?" Especially by British tourists as it is very similar to the three legged emblem of the Isle of Man which is a British island situated in the Irish Sea known for its rugged coastline, medieval castles with rural landscapes and a mountainous centre, not too dissimilar to Sicily, but that is where the connection end. The " Sicilu " in the east of Sicily and the " Sicani " in the west of Sicily, were the first inhabitants of the island which was originally named " Sicania ". The first invaders, the ancient Greeks, after circumnavigating Sicily called it Thrinakia