cannoli, carciofata, citron, Edoné, Francesca Marchese, Geoff Andrews, granita, Graniti, pesto, Piccadilly, Salvatore Romano, Sicilian medlar, Slow food, Tasting Sicily
Sicily 6: Foodissimo. Salvatore Romano, and his wife Karin, opened their first restaurant – in London, just off Piccadilly – last year I believe. It is called Tasting Sicily Enzo’s Kitchen. But they live in Graniti, in the centre of the small town in which Edoné is also technically located. They have a smallholding there, receive holiday visitors on their house, sell foodstuffs made from their own produce, and have a thousand further projects in mind. Salvatore was mainly in charge of us today.
We arrived at their house shortly after 10.00 am.As we did so he collected the best granita (no etymological link with the town) in Sicily – from the local garage! Granita was a Sicilian, and now Italian, sweet.
We could not hang around – it was going to melt quickly. Here is my portion, and the brioche which went with it. I tried all the flavours, but not being a great fan of cream, omitted that.
Then we were shown round the house.Our ‘lesson’ that morning was to be from Geoff, who has written a book on the Slow Food movement, which started in Italy, and the slogan for which is ‘good, clean and fair’. We were to be the first to use an artistic workshop that Salvatore and Karin had just created from an old house, a short way from their own residence. We passed the town hall to get there.
Early lunchtime, and Salvatore had prepared us a lovely meal from his own products, accompanied by the sparkling wine we had first tasted two days previously.Some of us bought from him – though we had to ask to be able to do so. Here is what is left of what I bought.
I am discovering that, while they are good on bread, they are also wonderful on thin toast. And I’m looking forward to using the voucher Salvatore gave us for his Piccadilly restaurant – where also his products may be bought.
At 4 pm, back at Edoné, we gathered for our cooking lesson in the kitchen with Salvatore and Enzo. (Not the same Enzo of course who runs the restaurant in Piccadilly!)I confess to having been a little half-hearted about this. I am no cook at the best of times – though adore good food – and the threatening cold, no doubt picked up during travel, was beginning to become evident. So I kept my distance and limited my direct involvement to halving some delicious small tomatoes.
We starting eating quite early for Sicily. Here are the antipasti.
A full meal for me already!
Enzo then came from the kitchen to the patio with the pasta. The tomato sauce had been simmering for hours.I didn’t get a picture of the lamb once cooked, but I was given an enormous portion of it! This was the entire menu.
We assembled our cannoli ourselves, at table.
and then were offered citrons. Francesca had already brought us one of these from her parents’ on Easter Day. While it is a lemon-coloured citrus fruit, it was amazingly sweet, and adding honey takes away any remaining sharpness.Finally – and it is my recollection that Francesca brought this – there was an extra sweet. But in my haste to take a photo, which required my getting up to move around the table, and anxious to protect my ankle, I leant on the back of my chair – which tumbled off the low patio, followed by me, into flower pots and seedlings! I am not usually accident prone! Fortunately, other than some bruises – which are now pale yellow, two weeks on – I was not at all hurt, (though I am not too sure about the seedlings) and once helped up I completed what I had set out to do.The Paschal lamb was made of a soft icing sugar and marzipan. (That is a marzipan (Sicilian) medlar at the front. We ate several of these fruits during the week.)
I went to bed very, very full indeed, even though I had not partaken of the liqueurs on offer.