Sagre and Feste in each Sicilian province: Siracusa

Throughout the year, Sicily offers the occasion to enjoy the best local food and traditions for locals and visitors. A town or city's Sagra will feature a particular speciality celebrated and usually consumed for only a few Euros. Some people hire a camper, particularly in the summer and go from sagra to sagra, depending on…

Sagre and Feste in each Sicilian province: Ragusa

Throughout the year, Sicily offers the occasion to enjoy the best local food and traditions for locals and visitors. A town or city's Sagra will feature a particular speciality celebrated and usually consumed for only a few Euros. Some people hire a camper, particularly in the summer and go from sagra to sagra, depending on…

Sagre and Feste in each Sicilian province: Palermo

Throughout the year, Sicily offers the occasion to enjoy the best local food and traditions for locals and visitors. A town or city's Sagra will feature a particular speciality celebrated and usually consumed for only a few Euros. Some people hire a camper, particularly in the summer and go from sagra to sagra, depending on…

Sagre and Feste in each Sicilian province: Enna

Throughout the year, Sicily offers the occasion to enjoy the best local food and traditions for locals and visitors. A town or city's Sagra will feature a particular speciality celebrated and usually consumed for only a few Euros. Some people hire a camper, particularly in the summer and go from sagra to sagra, depending on…

Sagre and Feste in each Sicilian province: Messina

Throughout the year, Sicily offers the occasion to enjoy the best local food and traditions for locals and visitors. A town or city's Sagra will feature a particular speciality celebrated and usually consumed for only a few Euros. Some people hire a camper, particularly in the summer and go from sagra to sagra, depending on…

How to eat like an Italian

I recently saw an image on Facebook from a supposedly Italian restaurant in Australia. I was reminded how different perceived Italian cuisine is very different from authentic Italian food prepared and consumed in Italy.  For example, Italians would never put pasta together with crumbed meat on the same plate. You will never see meatballs on…

Exploring small Sicilian towns

When people come to Sicily, they tend to go along the well-followed tourist road, sticking to the main cities like Palermo or Catania or visit coastal resort towns like Taormina or Cefalù, which are all beautiful and worthwhile. Still, the island offers many more unique experiences.I always advise people to go and explore smaller towns,…

A tasteful introduction to Sicilian cuisine

Italy is a foodies paradise, and each town has its own particular specialities. From region to region and city to city, each place has its form and interpretation of pasta, typical seasonal ingredients, wines, cheeses, and desserts. It would take months to work your way around the boot and taste everything. Without the luxury of…

Words from Sicily: Tabacchere

One of the most sumptuous fruits of the Sicilian summer has to be the Tabacchere, a strange little squashed furry peach packed with enormous flavour. I first saw these seemingly insignificant mini fruit at the fruit and vegetable stalls at the open air markets and took them as an inferior version of regular peaches. I…

Words from Sicily: Fichi d’India

Driving through the countryside outside Catania, under the shadow of Mount Etna between the lava rocks and the dark soil dotted with olives and pistachio trees. There is an introduced plant that thrives and has been claimed by Sicily the fico d’india literally the Indian fig. The prickly pear is a natural survivor of everything…

The New Wines of Etna

Photo by Josh Bean on Unsplash Ben Spencer is a journalist and professional winemaker who lives and works near Mount Etna. He explores the Mount Etna wine-producing area in a mixture of culinary history and guide book in his excellent new book The New Wines of Mount Etna. Spencer’s passion and knowledge of wine make…

How to peel a fico d’india

The exotic prickly pear (fico d’india) is a delicacy in Sicily and thrives around the entire island. Known also as the Barbary fig (opuntia ficus-indica) it is a species of cactus cultivated throughout the world in arid and semiarid areas and is thought to be native to Mexico. It is best to taste them after…

The prickly situation of the Fichi d’india

Mountains of prickly pears cactus plants line the roadside spreading out into the uncultivated land, they thrive in the lava soil and produce a much-loved fruit, in Sicily. The flat, irregular, leaves of the fica d’india are oval-shaped, a little bit bigger than a table tennis racquet. The fruit of this cactus ripens gradually around…

Sicilian Splendors: discovering the secret places that speak to the heart

  I discovered the work of John Keahey by accident a few years ago when his first book about Sicily (Seeking Sicily: a cultural journey through myth and reality in the heart of the Mediterranean) randomly popped up on my Amazon search for books on my usual trawl through the internet for inspiration. After a…

Yuletide Sicily

The festive season is always a beautiful time of the year to visit Sicily as it is filled with the colours, tastes and sensations of a traditional Sicilian Christmas. A Yuletide Sicily offers visitors a unique way of experiencing the island which is inhabited by fewer tourists and is ultimately a more authentically Italian celebration.…