We Sicilians have a large selection of dishes ranging from appetizers to desserts and even fruit.
Because of its varied history, Sicilian cuisine brings with it Spanish, French, Arabic and Mediterranean culture influences.
One recipe that we consider appetizer is “caponata”: cold vegetable dish that you will eat at my house expecially during the summer.
Caponata is a huge experience, a gathering of many tastes, smells , which are characteristic of our kitchen.
Of Saracen origin, the ingredients are rectangular pieces of fried Tunisian aubergines (round and clear purple), with capers, blanched celery, fried onion, little tomato sauce, green olives.
The ingredients are tied together with agrodolce ( white vinegar with sugar).
Let it stand a few hours and you can add a few leaves of basil or mint on top.
There are some variations and different ingredients depending where are you in the island (in Catania they use peppers).
By the dolce visa way I suggest to you provide as a side dish, caponata with swordfish or dolphinfish called in Sicilian “capone”.
Sicily is big producer of both red, white and sweet wine. There are some different qualities of local grapes in various localities.
The wine generally is strong.
You can take wine tasting tours and visit the cellars of wineries.
Alcamo, for example is a wine town where they specialise in white
wine. There, you can buy cheap wine in bottles or plastic bottles.
You can fish out some octopus or sea urchins in the morning then eat them with pasta in the evening on the terrace of my house accompanied by a good bottle of white wine from alcamo (grillo grapes or catarratto lucido).
Recently, Sicilians have created some micro manufacturers of craft beers, red, black, double malt and five grains, all good but a little more expensive.
It is customary to put the spice and flavours in the spirit. Limoncello (lemon peel in spirit) or chilli or bay leaves, rosemary are some examples.
Nocino is a walnut liqueur with cinnamon and cloves. You collect the nuts during the day of St John’s (24 of June) and the preparation procedure is slow and long and lasts some months.
ZINGARO NATURAL RESERVE is near the small village of Scopello, in the district of Castellamare del Golfo.
The reserve was created after the authorities bowed to pressure from protesters objecting to plans to build a motorway through the area.
Now it is a pristine protected area where we move about on foot – or on donkeys.
There are two main paths: one coastal and one inland.
On the coast there are some fishermen’s houses where you can stay, and a cave with prehistoric drawings.
Inland, there are some shelters and some farms where can camp out and eat products prepared by local people.
In the 1984 the visual artist Tullio Catalano ( Roma 1944-Bologna 1999) organized a performance entitled: “TRIBUTE TO JOHN CAGE” – on boats which came from the sea on the mainland.
I once organised a nocturnal soundwalk to experience the biological rhythm of the place.
When I was child would encounter some dolphins by boat..