Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

Sicily has both—guns and cannoli. We didn’t have much interaction with the former; well, carabinieri did stop us once near Corleone and these tough military policemen do have guns. But since we didn’t speak Italian and they didn’t comprehend English, they just waved to us and said “arrivederci”.

But we did have much interaction with cannoli and other tasty inventions of the Sicilian cuisine. Sicilians take their food very seriously, because food is life. I can’t say that Sicilian food is very healthy according to Western standards, but in a culture where alcohol and tobacco are a big and definite part of everyday life, being healthy isn’t really that important. What’s important is a mother offering extremely tasty food to her big family. What is important is to get enough energy from the food so that one could keep doing the hard daily work and provide for one’s family. And it’s also important that food is easily available—seafood is found all around Sicily and tomatoes that are never absent from a Sicilian’s table grow in the back garden.

Spaghetti ai frutti di mare. Or, spaghetti alla marinara. Marvellous. Divine.

Spaghetti ai frutti di mare. Or, spaghetti alla marinara. Marvellous. Divine.

Pizza is a rather un-Sicilian food, and although there are millions of pizzerias around, they’re mostly for tourists. Sicilian’s food is pasta, mostly spaghetti, with all possible and impossible add-ons. We mostly ate spaghetti with seafood. Well, we did visit some pizzerias, but that was mostly for change or because other restaurants were closed.

Sicilians also like sweet things. Bakeries are full of cakes, cookies, muffins and stuff that one really can’t name. But the most famous Sicilian sweet is cannolo (pl. cannoli). It’s a pastry tube full of ricotta cheese. And sometimes they add chocolate or other things to the ricotta. These extremely tasty, but certainly extremely fattening pastries are certainly the most important highlight of Sicilian cuisine.

Cannoli.

Cannoli.

By the way, albeit cappuccino is an Italian invention, it seemed to me that most locals actually drink espresso. Probably because it wakes one up after sweet dreams.

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