Panettoni Fiasconaro: The Ancient Art and Secrets of Traditional Pastrymaking in Castelbuono, Sicily!

Christmas/Natale is just around the corner and for all of us Italians and Italian Americans the season is simply not complete without panettone.   It was my girlfriend Sveva who reminded me I should share and highlight the story of the Fiasconaro family and their original panettone specialties for which they have been recognized as a Sicilian excellency worldwide.  I had the…

Organic Farming Sicilian Style…

When we first moved to America, 16 years ago, the adjective “organic” was just starting to appear in people’s conversations and consciousness.  “Is this organic? Do you buy organic? Do you sell or produce organic?” Papa’ {the greenest thumb I know} and I were trying to translate that into Italian = “organico” ? {impossible, we…

Sicilian Summers In Cucina….

Sicilian summers are sizzling.  They are filled with a zest and a “joie de vivre” I have rarely found elsewhere. They are also the simplest and most genuine – made of lazy mornings and afternoons al mare {at the beach} and soaking in every ray of Southern sunshine.  When you are not sunbathing, you are…

Sicilian almond or lemon “granite”: best summer breakfast ever….

Buongiorno!! Everybody awake?? Hope you had a wonderful weekend….hey, Happy July 1 !! Summer is here and in full swing – my favorite time of the year – guess what Francesca is dreaming of ??? A “granita siciliana” every morning for breakfast with brioche  – I promise you: best summer breakfast EVA ;)) Refreshing, satisfying,…

Un orto siciliano and the wealth of a man…

Dedico questo pensiero a tutti coloro che amano la natura e cio’ che ci insegna sulla lentezza e la pazienza – per lei, il tempo e’ una grande lezione.  I want to dedicate this reflection to all those who love nature and all that it teaches us on “slowness” (being slow) and patience – for…

Carfagna’s Italian Market: An Italian food bazaar in Columbus!

Anciovi/Anchovies anyone ?? I found incredible ones from Sciacca, Sicily at Carfagna’s Italian Market in Columbus during one of my booktour trips a few weeks ago.  Anchovies are used in Sicilian cuisine almost like you would use salt and sugar, they are sprinkled here and there – most often in pizza – but also grilled…

Food History: The Link Between Sicilian and Arabic Cuisine

GRAZIE to my cousin, Yvonne Maffei, Chef, Food Writer and Publisher of My Halal Kitchen (www.myhalalkitchen.com) for allowing me to write and share a reflection on Mediterranean food history and the connection between Sicilian and Arabic cuisine with her readers, and now you.  You may read the article on Yvonne’s website directly at the link below – I also…

Californiando in cucina….

Dedico questo post culinario a tutti coloro che percepiscono il valore delle cose  piu’ semplici e genuine.  Parliamoci chiaro: La vita e’ troppo breve per mangiare male.  Ecco qui per voi un sunto dei miei piatti preferiti a San Diego – una citta’ benedetta da mare, sole e ricca di vita… I want to dedicate…

Fagottino di miele, ricotta e feta: Sicily meets Greece, Oppa!

Kalimera/Buongiorno! Yesterday, the Greek Orthodox in America and elsewhere in the world celebrated their Easter.  We have a few family members that are Greek and so I learned all about their culinary and religious traditions.  Fascinating.  Sicily and Greece resemble each other in numerous ways  – first and foremost in their geography and territory but…

Ancient Sicilian Fisherman’s Soup: Zuppetta di Gamberi

Our grandparents knew best – you should always listen to your Nonni.  My maternal grandfather was a fisherman and from him, I came to appreciate the wealth of seafood available in the Mediterranean Sea but also learned reserves of maritime knowledge I will share with you over time.  I don’t know about you, but our…

Tapas Siculo~Mediterranee

Sicilian homes will always have a constant staple:  l’antipasto.  Whether it is shared with family, friends or last minute guests you will always find what I like to refer to as “Tapas Siculo~Mediterranee.”   These are generally served on gorgeous platters and are nibbled on as guests await the “official” meal.  They are also enjoyed with some vino, or if you are…