Tag Archives: sicily

Bitter with the Sweet


“A spoonful of honey makes the medicine go down”–this is the advice of the wonderful Nanny, Mary Poppins. Fictional tho she may be, her advice is good. Italians have been following it for years. Especially in the making of candied orange peels, something I have become addicted to. Recently, I discovered that these candied peels are also very healthy!

One of Oprah’s websites,(http://www.oprah.com/health/Nutritional-Benefits-of-Eating-Peels-Stems-and-Rinds) lists the many heal benefits of the orange peel or rind:
“The peel contains more than four times as much fiber as the fruit inside, and more tangeretin and nobiletin—flavonoids with anticancer, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2004 study on animals suggests that these nutrients may even reduce harmful LDL cholesterol better than some prescription drugs.”

But long before Oprah was around, the old Sicilians were taking the rind of the blood orange and preserving it in honey, another food packed with nutritional power. Honey has even been used as a poultice on wounds!
In modern times, rinds are also preserved with sugar.
The taste is a remarkable exercise in philosophy and taste. Life is both bitter and sweet. If you are clever, you can get the benefits from the bitter (food or experience) by overwhelming it with sweetness. Love, indeed, conquers all.

Amazing Meals

So, last Wednesday I told you about spacatelli and Cin Cin.

Today I’d like to note the joys of Il Delfino’s fish supper—12 fish courses and then dessert–a wonderful sardine appetizer, I don’t even know what to call it, and a super plate of octopus salad and of course spaghetti alle vongole–wonderful little clams–

sferracavallo sicily

sferracavallo sicily

never tasted any like them

Take a look at this photo

Food, Glorious Food!

In Italian, Cin Cin means “cheers”. It is also the name of a restaurant in Palermo–not to be missed. Owner was raised in Baton Rouge so he knows the American preferences but blends that with the Sicilian specialties of western Sicily. My fave was the spaccatelli with a kind of Pesto made from pistachios, basil, oil, cheese and with cherry tomatoes! Wow!

We found the spaccatelli and I brought back a kilo–now I need to try to duplicate the recipe.

Pictures of great food will be posted on Pinterest



You may bring home scarves and ceramics–ok, so did I, from your trip to Italy but I also came home with three packages of pasta–all cuts that are difficult and in one case impossible to find here.

Trofie are available in specialty stores as is squid ink pasta. I bought these in specialty stores. But it is the package (I kilo large) we got from a grocery store that excites me most-spaccatelli–a cut bucatelli pasta, not just cut short, but slit down the middle, A die cut pasta, this shape holds the sauce in a whole new way. Tried it at Cin Cin, a great restaurant in Palermo and hunted for it all over until another person on our trip found it in a grocery store for me. It’s made by Proia,a Sicilian pasta maker. Saw their plant outside of Catania on our way to the airport. My pictures and this pasta are my fave recordi from this trip, by far. Pic will follow.

PS Cin Cin is a GREAT place to dine



Hi! We are back from a family vacation. That’s why I didn’t post–due to some unforeseen problems, I was without internet most of the time. Many of you are planning a family vacations right now. I urge you to include the children in the process of deciding location, what to do and when to go. All of this makes the time together much more fun. Our daughter suggested this trip to Sicily. We were happy to make the trip to watch her discover that part of her heritage. My sister-in-law came along–Jennie’s godmother–making it even more of a family occasion. We ate a lot of gelato, a lot of pasta, a lot of fish, many pastries and did a lot of walking. Wonderful!!!! Hope your trip goes as well and that when your children are adults they will still want to be with you when they relax at the beach, in the mountains, on a cruise or abroad.

See my upcoming food blogs for more information on what we ate! (Wednesdays)