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Entries Tagged as 'Sicily'

Sicily continued, Palermo

June 15th, 2006 · Comments Off

After our trip to Monreale, we had a drink on the roof lounge of our Hotel in Palermo – Albergo Sole and then it was time to eat again.

cupola of Chiesa Santa Catarina
The view from the roof, the cupola of Chiesa Santa Catarina, Palazzo di Città (city hall) or Palazzo delle Aquile (Palace of Eagles) and I think that’s Monte Grifone in the background.

Our hotel meals were good, but they didn’t compare to the restaurants we visited. The pasta dish here is a pasta with pumpkin, but I’m unsure the technical name of the pasta. It’s either Casarecci, which means hand made, from the hand rolling this ’s’ shape requires, or strozzapreti which has the much more romantic sounding name which means ‘Priest Stranglers’.

This weekend I was planning to make my normal chicken curry pasta salad for a party, when I saw this shape in Whole Foods and used it. I’m glad I found it, since I didn’t note the pasta type when in Palermo and I couldn’t find the name. Even the World Directory of Pasta Shapes and Names didn’t have a description of this type of pasta. This pasta shape chart has a picture of both.

We had a breaded swordfish and then a ‘lemon ricotta cake’ with some sort of wild strawberries.

I’m unsure if this was anything related to the traditional cassata. We were served several versions of ricotta cakes, mostly lemon, and a smattering of either strawberry, pistachio, or almond. I’m afraid these were all served in hotels, and while I ate them with gusto, I didn’t run into the kitchen, demanding the name, ingredients and cultural history, just to make sure, that at some point I’d be able to ask for the exact same thing. We retired on the roof deck, with a grappa (or two). I could blame the second one, but I neglected to note the name of the brand, which was very good, despite grappa’s terrible reputation as undrinkable moonshine. That said, this stuff was as potent an alcohol as I’ve ever had. Think Everclear with nuance. Later in the trip we did try some grappa that was truely horrific, in potentcy and taste.

The view of the cupola at night, under the influence of a few grappa.

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Tags: Sicily

Sicily report: 1st Gelato

June 5th, 2006 · Comments Off

Inside the Monreale Cathedral

We ate a lot of gelato while in Sicily, this was the first, in Monreale across from the cathedral. I opted to start my gelato experience slowly, with a vaniglia (vanilla). Thick and creamy, perfumy with vanilla. Some others on the trip who tried other flavors thought this was the best gelato on the trip. I had a few better, but only because of the bolder flavors I tried later.

Outside the Monreale Cathedral.

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Tags: Sicily

Random Sicily Images

May 23rd, 2006 · Comments Off

A few random pictures to give you a taste before I write up my posts.

Market in Palermo. Note the tuna and swordfish in the background.

Cannoli in Eriche.

Marzipan in Eriche.

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Tags: Sicily

Sicily, Day 01

May 23rd, 2006 · Comments Off

I’ll be making a seperate site for a report on my Sicily trip, but I’ll be posting some quick thoughts here.


A trip like this always starts with the airline food. Alitalia’s food wasn’t bad. The beef was nice and tender, the pasta was al dente and it didn’t taste like it had been frozen and reheated repeatedly like most airlines. I heard some Americans remarking about the ‘nasty coffee which was all foamy’ but to get an Italian coffee (what we’d call an espresso) with crema, while on a plane was quite a treat.


Next: Gelato in Monreale and Pasta in Palermo. Then a visit to the market, and later, the best pizza, cannoli and marzipan you could ever have.

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Tags: Sicily