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  • Columbia Hillen

Epicurean Sicily

Perspective is many times what makes a place heaven or hell, philosophically speaking. From a traveler's point of view, it's important to take time to simply absorb the surroundings. And meal times or coffee breaks provide for such explorations.


I believe that entire history books are contained in the simplest of deserts - from its origin, to the various nations that adopted it and to the sociological and economical pressures that cause ingredients to be replaced and others to be added, according to new fashions of the times.


Anyways, here are some of the 'books' I have studied during my trip to Sicily where I also learnt the importance of expressing your delight for a good meal: scarpeta (using a piece of bread to soak up that last bit of delicious sauce in your plate).


Caponata, a Sicilian aubergine stew served with four kinds of cheeses from southern Sicily

Salad of red oranges and smoked herrings, wild fennel and spring onions from Giarratana (a recipe of Nifosi family, owners of Eremo della Giubiliana)

Oysters and Sicilian clams - a perfect starter for a Sunday lunch on the coast of Syracuse

Wild strawberries, ricotta and pistachio, all in a tart - I could not imagine a more Sicilian desert

But don't bite yet into that tart before you taste this Marsala-flavored, Tagliolini pasta with rabbit and Modica chocolate - creation of Chef of Don Eusebio Restaurant, Eremo della Giubiliana

Cassata, a ricotta and marzipan desert with dried fruits served here with pistachio parfait

Cannoli, the tubes of pleasure everyone talks about when you say you are going to Sicily. Well, this one, in Marina de Ragusa, was indeed memorable

And finally, once you've done your 'passeggiata,' you've got to stop and have an 'ice cream burger' - a Sicilian brioche stuffed with ice cream (pistachio, please!)

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