Not Guilty

February 18, 2013

I believe this about breakfast: you absolutely must eat a healthy one.

The breakfast I eat in Sicily goes against everything I hold true.

I ingest a big fat brioche (brioscia) oozing with chocolate or pistachio paste, snowy with powdered sugar. Along with a sugary shot of caffeine.

But the guilt I feel is only a passing blip on the radar of my emotions before Euphoria sets in. Does my lack of shame stem from the fact that everyone else on the island is doing it, too?

Sicilian Breakfast, copyright Jann Huizenga
Or because, to get my hands on these treats, I have to haul myself down one hundred steps?

Steps in Ragusa Ibla, copyright Jann Huizenga

And then haul myself back up like some kind of alpinist?

Steps in Ragusa Ibla, copyright Jann Huizenga


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40 comments to Not Guilty

  • It’s really the only way to do it in Italy. Bacon and eggs are so overrated … bring on the caffe e brioche!

  • Jann, as far as I’m concerned, climbing the 100 steps alpine style more than burns the calories belonging to the brioche! Girl, please, no one should dwell on how fattening something this delicious can be. Living life, really living life, is about the sinful pleasures we allow ourselves. Suddenly our existence becomes more content, more joyful, and totally satisfying, if only for that moment. So rock on and eat your chocolate brioche, friend! 🙂

  • Yes, I too when I visited Sicily ate a brioche filled with gelato every morning. I would lower my basket from the sixth floor and call to Angelo and he would ask if I wanted the usual and I said “Sei” everytime!

  • Sam

    Just think how much more lean and fit people in this country would be if they had to climb 100 steps to get to each fattening dessert!

  • Do they even have a word for that kind of ‘guilt’ in Sicilian Jann? 😉 Buongiorno e buon appetito piuttosto! 😉 xx

  • ***But the guilt I feel is only a passing blip on the radar of my emotions before Euphoria sets in***

    I am thrill you wrote this sentence, Jann. Life is too short, babe.

    I can imagine Italians still eat much less than us….and it’s much sweeter!

    Xxxx LOVE Lots. Xxxxxx

  • Anitre

    Mama mia! I’ve never seen such a delicious brioche before. We tend to have yummy cornettos in Pozzollo. FYI, last Sunday, I ate 3 large canolli in the space of 1 hour! No guilt at all! Love those photos. Brava, Jann!

  • I have to admit that I am a huge fan of the gelato in a brioche breakfast. But when I drink my il cafe’ I get some raised eyebrows as I take it black with no sugar. I think I recognize those stairs. Is that right next to Duomo di San Giorgio? If so, I walked up and down them last summer. I am still in awe when I think of Ragusa Ibla, even though I love my own little corner in Sicily!

    • Jann

      Oh, si, Diane–the Sicilian summer breakfast of gelato in a brioche is even wicked-er!!! MMM. Great invention. Yes, the stairs are next to the duomo. Glad you like the village!

  • Wow! One day I would like to experience your village in the flesh. x

  • Riccardo Losacano

    Once while staying in a B&B on the hilltop of Modica, we had a huge Sunday pranza. It was really all I could do…walk up those steps back to our place.

    • Jann

      Ciao Riccardo, before coming to Sicily, you really have to “practice” on steps so your legs are in good shape. Otherwise, it’s impossible.

  • How I long for a Sicilian breakfast! I’d even walk up and down all those stairs … maybe. Thanks, Jann!

  • jan walcott

    Love the sepia toned photos! I think this seals the deal for our trip to the Baroque Sicily area next fall. Have been researching after your very helpful email!!!

  • cemal karahan

    Dear Jann, do not be ashamed of whatever you like eating in a city with steep places you have to use very often cause you will need more calorie than anyone else.Your photos of Ragusa stunning.

  • Tom m

    You are not guilty of guilt about your decadent morning treat, you are simply made defenseless in the face of such a scrumptious indulgence. Enjoy!

  • I walk across the bridge to the bar every morning and have a cappuccino and a sfoglia di mela, made right there…and I love it.

  • Jann, I imagine by the time you traipse down those stairs, eat that luscious delicacy, then haul yourself back UP the stairs, you’re ready for another snack! I’m not for certain, but I’ll bet you’ve expended sufficient calories to warrant the treat!

  • Nancy

    Love the photos of the town. Ragusa looks so beautiful and maybe someday when in Sicily I’ll get there.
    That brioche looks delicious though I prefer the plain with creme filling. This one is definitely an indulgence. Yum.

  • may

    Jann! I think my legs are STILL sore from my trip to Ragusa over a year ago. You really can eat whatever you desire there because the walking is so excruciating:). But so gloriously beautiful, too. Cheers!

    • Jann

      Ciao May! It’s good to hear you… Ha ha–your legs have not yet recovered from all the steps? That sounds about right…

  • Jane

    Drooling with envy. As I sit at my computer, electric heater running, wool scarf at my neck, counting days until spring. How difficult is it to get 90 day visa and extensions to live in Sicily/Italia? Does one do that stateside, or wait til there…

    • Jann

      Hi there Jane–welcome to the blog! You can stay 90 days in Italy without a visa if you’re a US citizen. To stay longer, you technically need a visa, but… (I’ll let you fill in the blank here). It HAS been quite a chilly month in Sicily (with a few glorious days scattered in) and a cold winter in the rest of Italy, so we’re wearing scarves too!

  • The brioche ( marmelatta) is the highlight of our vacations in Italy. Also, need that boost from the expresso which I can never quite recreate back in the US.

  • A hard-earned and well-deserved guilty pleasure should be consumed solely as one’s just reward! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find a big towel to clean the drool off my keyboard.

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