Our stories regarding food, travel and life in Sicily...
This post was inspired by a question that my friend Yvonne Maffei of My Halal Kitchen asked her followers on FB few days ago: "Chili peppers are in season now. Are you cooking up anything with them (red or green)?".
I wrote "nice chili jam, great on strong Sicilian cheeses" and Yvonne answered asking whether my recipe was on my blog. That made me realize that it was time to write a post about it with recipe included.
"A firmai a tiempu a tiempu!" - I just stopped her on time!" told me Turuzzu.
During a visit to a producer in the countryside, one of our guests, attracted by the colours of prickly pears, was trying to collect one beer-handed. If he had not stopped her, she would have pricked her hands with dozens of small thorns.
Then Turuzzu, took the tool to collect prickly pears, which is a metal conic tool attached to the top of a long stick (see photo), got some, cleaned them and offered the fruit to our guests saying: "Nun si toccunu, si mangiunu" - You do not touch them, you eat them.
This morning, my fishmonger had a great surprise for me: extra fresh wild sea bass (In Italian spigola or branzino).
Finding wild sea bass and sea bream is not that easy, most people buy farmed fish which is definitely less expensive, but the taste of wild sea bass is just at a different level: a concentrate, intense, yet delicate, taste of the sea.
"Sapi ri mari" ( it tastes like the sea), my grandfather Giovanni always said when he was happy with the fish we had prepared for him. So perhaps, as he suggested, buy it once, but go for the top quality option.
Last week, Alfredo and Angelo from Mizzica.com came to visit the cooking school in Modica.
They have recently launched their website which offers access to top quality Sicilian products on-line and during our meeting we discussed about all sorts of products and ideas.
Yesterday, ho "incocciato" cous-cous. "Incocciare" is the Sicilian word indicating the art of making cous-cous typical of North Africa and the Western part of Sicily.
It is not easy and it takes practice, but the result is so much better than the pre-cooked packages you find at the supermarket! Fluffy and tasteful, I could simply have it on its own.
The ingredients are very simple, just "semola", which is semolina made from durum wheat (careful, this is not semolina flour, the one we call "semola rimacinata di grano duro"), salted water and extra-virgin olive oil.
Etna, Sicily's largest volcano, gives us wonderful products, all year round. Chestnuts, pistachios, wine, honey, mushroom, are all fantastic gifts of its untamed nature in the South-East of Sicily. One of these Mongibello's pearls is a special kind of peach, Pesca Tabacchiera (Donut peach) grown on the Etna slopes.
Posted on Monday 12th of July 2010 under
During summer, there is no neighbourhood in Sicily, from exclusive areas with expensive villas, to charming historical city centres, from busy markets to characterless city outskirts, where you will not encounter, at least once during your trip, the strong, inviting smell of grilled peppers.