Postcards from Sicily: Tomatoes

Fruit and vegetables always seem more sensuous in Sicily, their colours are more intense, flavors fulsome and form expansive. Our tomatoes this year were an illustration of Sicilian agricultural fertility, they were abundant and delicious too.  

Beautiful Sicilian Porcini mushrooms

Each wild Porcini mushroom is a thing of beauty, individual works of spontaneous sculpture which nature gives us.   Actually you have to hunt them down or else they are destined to decay and break down back into the earth.     The other day my eldest niece accused me of being lazy and not wanting…

Postcards from Sicily: Swooning and pouting

I snapped this shot at the Piazza Armerina markets. This particularly bored girl waiting for her father holding on to various riding paraphernalia. It is an image which summarises my summer’s day near Enna the heat, dust and rustic surrounds were enough to make anyone swoon and pout.

Postcards from Sicily: Piazza Armerina market stalls

  Piazza Armerina in the province of Enna deep in the bellybutton of Sicily is still filled with traditions which are slowly disappearing in other parts of Sicily. Visiting the agricultural markets (or fairs) used to give you the opportunity to see animals and products from all around the islands, however this market no longer…

Postcards from Sicily: Fiera Piazza Armerina

I have a soft spot for Sicilian open air markets, you never know what you will find. Every town has a market day where traveling salesmen set up their stalls to sell everything from household goods, groceries, fruit and vegetable, toys and clothes. Here is a one Euro stand which has attracted some men into…

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…

Ten ways to tell you’ve been living in Sicily too long

1. I unashamedly buy my underwear at the markets. I used to be embarrassed at the prospect of buying undies and bras from market stalls, the idea of everyone observing me was once crippling. Now I don’t blink an eye and happily rummage around the lingerie stand. I also occasionally buy fruit and vegetables from…

The Sicilian art of the incomplete

It is common in Sicily to see people living in unfinished houses or apartments with exposed bricks, cement and reinforced steel poking out dangerously like rusty modern sculptures on roofs left behind as it to say: ‘I could build a second storey if I feel like it, ora vediamo ...' Yes the quintessential loitering phrase…

Postcards from Sicily: Funky winter fruit

One funky winter fruit common here in Sicily are these gorgeous fruit called Corbezzoli in Italian or Mbriaculi in Sicilian. They are fuzzy little slightly spiky balls of sweet goodness. Apparently when animals eat too many of them they ferment in their stomachs making them slightly drunk. According to Google translator these are Arbutus fruit,…

A coffee temptation

I’ve always been a coffee drinker. I started off with instant stuff, then graduated to frothy cappuccino, milky latte and now I live in Italy it’s one hundred percent hardcore espresso. I briefly flirted with tea drinking in my youth, in the anglo saxon tradition of taking afternoon tea, so common in England loving Australia…