Showing posts from July, 2019

The Legend's of the Moorish Heads

Sicily is a place full of myths, legends and love. There are many love stories associated with the island, both fact and fiction. From stories of nymphs and river gods from Greek mythology, love struck Hollywood movie stars, books written by some of the worlds most famous literary authors and operas that depict lives of lost loves and loveless marriages. Some stories have happy endings and some not so happy endings. Then there is the legends of Le Teste di Moro, the Legends of the Moorish Heads. A unique story to Sicily of love, betrayal, revenge and basil. Yes that's right basil. Sicily is also a place well known for its beautiful and colourful ceramics and as you walk around towns and villages one of the most popular examples you will see are the beautiful ceramic heads of Moorish characters, especially if you look up at balconies where some will be overflowing with plants. You will also see a lot of these heads for sale in ceramic shops. Many people ask me what the signif

Making Caponata

"What did you eat?" "Caponata" he said in a choked up voice. How on earth was it possible to get a lump in ones throat simply by uttering the word Caponata? (The Wings of the Sphinx, an Inspector Montalbano Mystery by Andrea Camilleri) Caponata is a classic Sicilian dish which ranks high with my love affair for arancini, pasta alla norma and cannoli. So I know exactly how Inspector Montalbano feels in this excerpt from one of Andrea Cameilleri's books. The inspectors cure for incipient melancholy is a plateful of caponata with grilled mullet in his favourite restaurant Enzo's, followed by a walk and a cigarette. I think everyone can remember their first taste of this Sicilian dish which explodes with an agro dolce (sweet and sour) flavour. My first memory was an evening meal at a friends house. We had the pleasure of being introduced to Nunzio Franco and his son Vincenzo from Franco Group Taormina just after we had bought our Sicilian home

"Gli Aromi" ... an abundance of Herbs

Many food aficionados associate Italy with sun-drenched, southern landscapes awash with the seductive fragrances of rosemary, thyme and oregano and indeed in addition to garlic, pepper and olive oil, fresh herbs provide the fundamental flavour of Sicilian cuisine. For almost every main ingredient there is an appropriate herb, most of which grow wild on the island. The herb's glowing reputation and wide popularity are due not only to their beguiling aromas and flavour, but also to their qualities as gentle but effective and versatile natural remedies with proven healing properties. Sicilians have always been more than generous in their use of herbs more so than Northern and Central Europeans and in Sicilian cooking herbs have a firm place in everyday food to add flavour to sauces, soups, eggs, vegetables, fish and meat dishes. A while ago one of my Blog followers and now friend Paula, a lovely lady from New York, sent me a message to say that I MUST the next time I was in t