Thursday, January 30, 2014

Inspiration From Sicily!

If you noticed that the blog has been a little quiet lately, it’s because for the last two weeks I have been in Siracusa, Sicily looking for new ideas and inspiration (and of course to spend a little quality time with my family).  Siracusa is an ancient town on the Southeast corner of Sicily, surrounded by blood orange orchards and fishing boats.   It was the home of Archimedes and every corner of the city is rich with history.

There are not any real “fine-dining” restaurants in Siracusa, and I spent most of my time wandering the tiny stores and family owned restaurants on the island of Ortigia, soaking up local food and culture.  The open-air markets were truly incredible!  Each morning  several narrow streets would be filled with tables displaying, huge swordfish, urchins, razor clams and dozens of other exotic seafood.

We also had quite a few fantastic wines from the region of Noto and the slopes of the Volcano, Etna.  Two days before we left the island, the volcano began sending up a huge plume of dark smoke and bursts of lava.  As we drove to the airport at 4am, we could see a river of lava flowing down the mountainside.  The ash was so prevalent that our flight was delayed two hours, causing us to miss the rest of our connections and arrive home a day late.

What I enjoyed most about Sicily was the sincere hospitality we experienced.  Almost every person we encountered seemed genuinely happy that we were visiting their town and was eager to share their cuisine and culture.


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