Postcards from Sicily: Oregano


This summer I photographed this Sicilian Oregano drying in the sun. Oregano grows wild in amongst the Mediterranean scrub of Sicily and is gathered and saved to add flavor to meats and other dishes. As I was taking this photo I was struck by the rustic almost dirty look of the rocks and the herbs, it is harsh but like the real Sicily, that’s the way it is.


Gathering wild fennel

It’s the end of August which means the end of summer is here. The reign of warm sunny days is beginning to lose it’s hold over the seasons as intense storms usher in the autumn and eventually winter.

The ancient culinary rites which once symbolized the preparation for the harsh winters have already began. Tomatoes have soaked up the summer sun, egg plants have been preserved in olive oil together with stuffed peppers and the first batch of porcini mushrooms.

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Now with the first rains the wild fennel flowers are in bloom which means they will be collected, dried then ground to season fresh or dried pork sausages later on in the winter or sprinkled over winter vegetables like sliced boiled potatoes fried to add flavor and create a warm sensation to keep you snug on dark winter nights.

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The tastes of summer are always so lovingly preserved to remind Sicilian’s of Hade’s promise to return Demeter’s daughter Persephone to Sicily saving the ancient world from an endless winter.

The kidnapping of the goddess of fertility’s only daughter saw the earth cast into eternal darkness with Demeter’s grief. We thank Zeus that he was able to persuade Hades to return Persephone for a six month visit, where Demeter gives us the joy of spring and summer. Unfortunately having eaten from the forbidden fruit Persephone is destined to be Hades’ spouse and live out the rest of the year in the afterlife.

Here’s to holding onto the summer until Persephone’s next visit to us.


Images from Google images

My Sicilian summer holiday in pictures

Ceramic Vase, Santo Stefano, Messina
©Rochelle Del Borrello 2013



Church of the Madonna, Tindari (ME)
©Rochelle Del Borrello 2013



Open air fresh food markets, Randazzo, Catania
©Rochelle Del Borrello 2013



Street artist, Randazzo, (Ct)
©Rochelle Del Borrello 2013


To be continued …


Unwilling Expat



Lazy Summer daze



I’m sorry to report that the summer of 2012 here in Sicily, Italy is kinda slow.


Usually there are summer festivals, concerts and Sagras happening around the place. (A sagra being a free food festival where you can go and eat a free meal based on fresh local produce, there are sagras dedicated to everything from salami, tomatoes, beer and mortadella, fried beans, hazelnuts, oranges or any other product you can think of.)


So we are here nearly halfway through the summer and I’ve only hear through the grapevine of two concerts of obscure Italian singers at Floresta, nothing being announced yet at our little town of Sinagra and more gravely still nothing at the usual social hive of Capo d’orlando. Capo is a wonderfully touristy beachside city which is usually a buzz with people in the summer but a few days spent at the beach this month has shown a real downturn in numbers (perhaps people are coming in August??)


It’s really noticeable how Italy has slipped into a recession. Australia went through a similar time in the early 90’s I recall but being a relatively stoic country, the Australian’s put up their inherited stiff British upper lip, tightened their belts and did whatever other blasé cliché was required to get through it. I’m afraid that Italy is getting depressed!


So these lazy summer daze are passing by rather uneventfully. Here’s hoping I find something to do, it’s a shame to waste the summer twiddling my thumbs. Oh well I guess I can watch some Olympic action in the next few days, I’m raring to see that opening ceremony!!






The unwilling expat