Sicilian love affair

I’ve spent a few days in Sicily, which has both rugged beauty and is a land with a simple cuisine, that is also glamourous and extravagant.

It’s a beautiful and complex contradiction in terms, as the land has various cultures running through it.

I visited Marsala, which is mostly known for its sweet dessert marsala wine, and as a place where Giuseppe Garibaldi started the process of Italian unification.

The town exceeded my expectations by far, due to its sea breeze, golden baroque buildings, and lively streets.

What stands out more than that, however, beyond the kindness and friendliness of Sicilians is the love of food and drink.

Sitting at the heart of the Mediterranean, between east and west, Europe and North Africa, the food of Sicily is full of delicious, fresh seafood and mouth-watering meat in land.

Dishes are packed full of vibrant flavours. Visits to restaurants means waiters bringing a beautiful selection of Sicilian creations to your table, with recipes ranging from delicious morsels and fritters to big couscous, rice and pasta dishes and an abundance of ice creams and desserts.

Antipasti plates comprise lots of fabulous vegetables, breaded, baked, braised. Each had a distinct flavour and all were luscious. We also had a huge tray of mixed fried fish with wine and water.

Other foods include: arancini, smoked artichokes, roasted squid Sicilian octopus and chickpea.

One thing I was really excited about was tasting the Sicilian cuisine again and again. Spaghetti with pistachios and famous Sicilian gambero rosso prawns, tuna steak, Sicilian salad, grillo and marsala wines won me over.

Sicilian sweets were recommended and considered. Shops offered cannoli (crunchy pastry rolls filled with ricotta cheese) and genovese (custard filled pastries). There’s way too much to cover in this blog.

My biggest takeaway is how’s much food and drink is loved here. What may be called a simple cuisine, does not do justice to the use of genuine ingredients. It’s a cuisine the food and drink industry can learn a lot from.

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