Posted on Tuesday 03rd of January 2012 under General
First of all I wish you all a great 2012!
My 2011 culinary adventures in Modica finished with my first group of Russian guests, who proved to be excellent pasta makers, and with many new ideas for 2012. Christmas was amazing this year, we kept it simple, as we like it, but having children around just makes it so special! Our loveSicily Christmas party with my Sofia and Angelo's little Matilde was a real treat. We also got presents from what I like to call "Mother Christmas", who also have the same name, Toni.
Piatto Unico ......Regalo Unico!
At the beginning of November, Susan Van Allen, author of 100 Places In Italy Every Woman Should Go and the Golden Days in Italy blog, contacted me asking if I liked the idea of writing an itinerary for one day, or better one Golden day in Modica, for her blog.
It is olive harvest time and the Sicilian countryside smells of freshly pressed olives. An intense, strong, pungent aroma that gets straight to your throat and, in my case, to the heart too. I get moved by this ancient art of turning olives into golden-green extra virgin olive oil which is the essence of Sicilian cuisine.
Every year, the first olive harvest in Italy takes place in Sicily, in the area between Ragusa and Siracusa (between Ispica, Rosolini and Pachino) which is located below the latitude of Tunis in North Africa.
I firmly believe that maintaining local traditions is important, especially culinary ones, but I also think that we cannot stop there, our generations can create new "traditions" for the future. This is why I am always pleased when I find people who dare experimenting with food and ingredients in the name of quality. This is the case of Tarì, a new beer made in Modica by the Rocca dei Conti Brewery.
"A firmai a tiempu a tiempu!" - I just stopped her on time!" told me Turuzzu.
During a visit to a producer in the countryside, one of our guests, attracted by the colours of prickly pears, was trying to collect one beer-handed. If he had not stopped her, she would have pricked her hands with dozens of small thorns.
Then Turuzzu, took the tool to collect prickly pears, which is a metal conic tool attached to the top of a long stick (see photo), got some, cleaned them and offered the fruit to our guests saying: "Nun si toccunu, si mangiunu" - You do not touch them, you eat them.