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.
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!
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?