Expensive delicacies in Sicily

There are two things that I love and I can never seem to find in my part of Sicily and they are both to do with food, namely soy sauce and maple syrup!

As much as I love Sicilian’s dedication to pasta I like to occasionally succumb to my weakness for Asian food and certain desserts that aren’t a part of the Italian culinary canon.

One hella expensive treat!!

Growing up in Australia I was used to regular meals of spring rolls, dim sims, fried rice, noodles in their various Thai, Chinese and Indian manifestations. I adore sushi, love to savor a spicy curry and lick my fingers whenever I get to a ‘China town’ in any part of the world!

I like to think I know my way around an oven and make a mean muffin, cheese and carrot cake, all of which are unknown delicacies to most of my Sicilian counterparts. So much so that I’ve acquired a local reputation as a baker of fine sweets.

In my current culinary world I am constantly coming across problems hunting down basic ingredients, it took me ages to track down curry on the supermarket spice shelf and when I finally did it cost me three times the normal price, but today I am happy to report it’s regularly available and is no longer exorbitantly priced (even if it never seems as flavorsome as its foreign counterparts!)

I’ve thought about ordering things off the internet but with the postage it would end up costing ten times more.

Over Christmas I had to abandon making Gingerbread men as I couldn’t find some of the main ingredients (molasses, golden syrup and ginger) but I jealously watched  fellow expat blogger up in Northern Italy posting images of her hilarious little gingerbread men!


Alleluia for maple syrup!!


This month I finally found soy sauce which had mysteriously disappeared off the shelf of my usual supplier (probably because one little bottle cost more then seven euro). I also jumped out of my skin when I finally found authentic Canadian maple syrup at the same supermarket.


So I finally can make my famous fried rice or perhaps sticky sweet and sour chicken wings and pancake breakfasts!! It cost me about twenty euro!! Yes folks 250 mls of maple syrup and 125 mls of soy sauce at an outrageously expensive price!


But, occasionally one needs to spoil oneself, doesn’t one?


12 thoughts on “Expensive delicacies in Sicily

  1. Similar problems here in Spain… tried to find coconut milk in the supermarket yesterday, it was a hopeless endeavour (found soy sauce, though). Another reason I can’t wait to move to Madrid. They’ve got to have a decent selection of Asian cooking ingredients there! Awrgh, London had just about everything, and it’s spoilt me for life, I fear 😦


    1. There is something to say about truly multicultural cities isn’t there. When I mention to the locals that I like Asian food I get some strange looks, like why would I want to eat anything else than pasta!


  2. My husband found a recipe on the net for making mock golden syrup….it’s worked well in recipes so far!
    I remember the early days in rural France…..the only rice was Uncle Ben’s or pudding rice….no spices bar bay leaves and herbes de provence….
    And now in Costa Rica we’re repeating the experience…..couscous at prices to make your eyes water….


  3. We do tend to take the wide range of ingredients available in Aussie supermarkets for granted. In Sweden I had an American friend who would cycle miles to the next town to buy refried beans and we would make tortillas from scratch.


    1. Yes there is everything possible in an Ozzie supermarket, I really miss them sometimes! Last time I came back I stuffed a wok, sushi making kit, vanilla essence, soy sauce and curry into my suitcase for good measure. It looks like I’ll be doing some shopping online from now on! It takes a certain dedication to follow your cravings!


  4. Yikes, €20 for maple syrup!! But so worth it. I really miss tangy tastes in Italy so things like soy sauce and Branston’s pickle are a must! Have you tried britishcornershop.co.uk? I think the postage is about £11 for quite a big box of goodies.


    1. Yes, I have seen the British Corner shop and will have to start ordering. I didn’t order in time to get my key ingredients for Christmas but it is a good idea for hunting down things I am missing. Thanks!


  5. I know that I often take the ease of finding exotic ingredients for granted (I’m up here in Lecco), but if I could trade places with you for at least 1 week, I would love to be in Sicily especially when the food festivals are in full force.


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