It was a miracle that I did not gain more than 2 lbs. during the past couple of weeks since Sicilian food was a highlight of the trip. We had simple and rustic and home-cooked food as well as fine dining. We tried street food and sampled Sicilian specialties. We noticed differences between regions. We enjoyed the luscious fruits including the juicy and sweet oranges, the salty olives, a variety of mild to pungent cheeses, mushrooms, and learned all about olive oil and how to use it. We learned that Sicilians typically have meat or fish only three times a week and prepare dishes with dried beans and cheese for protein the rest of the week. We saw prosperous agricultural regions where fruits, nuts, and olives are harvested from trees and where vegetables are grown in fields or greenhouses. We had cooking lessons and came home with recipes. And we enjoyed pizza, of course!
This is Serefina’s hearty chickpea soup where we were instructed to drop pieces of bread (crusty and chewy) into it and finish off with a drizzle of olive oil. Perfecto!
Charlotte and I especially liked the starters (antipasto) which consisted of cheeses, olives, cold cuts, fried rice balls, marinated vegetables, tapenades, battered and fried vegetables, savory pastries, and much more.
This is a meal that we had in Palermo where we went into a fast food antipasto cafe and chose from the display what we wanted piled on top of salad greens. Yummy.
Giuseppe even talked us into tasting spleen! One small taste was enough for me.
Below is a meal where we threw ourselves at the mercy of the waiter who presented us with a meal of a variety of roasted veggies, a variety of cooked fish, and a variety of raw marinaded fish of his choosing. We loved it!
When meat or fish was served it was often with either a salad or vegetable on the side.
For dessert we had cakes, tiramisu, and cannolis, of course. Cannolis originated in Sicily and were superb.
AND GELATI!! Super creamy and sticky with intense flavor.
We frequently took our rest stops at cafes where we made small purchases so as to use the restrooms. On this occasion, Giuseppe treated the group to a sip of Averna Amaro, a sweet digestive liquor made with herbs and citrus rinds and caramel.
The trip was enhanced by great fellowship among everyone in the group and our knowledgeable, patient, efficient, well-organized, attentive, musically talented, and fun loving tour director, Giuseppe. We laughed a lot! We also made friends with many Sicilians along the way. As Giuseppe would say, “What a group!” – “What a trip!” – “What a tour director!” – “What nice people!” “Maaaaa Donna Mia!”