Pastry Gems

January 13, 2014

Welcome to Caffè Italia in Upper Ragusa, a swanky place on Piazza San Giovanni. But swanky in Sicily still means coffee for 90 cents, and a petit four for 50 cents–less than the cost of a Snickers bar.

Caffe Italia, Ragusa, Italy, copyright Jann Huizenga

I’ve ordered coffees all around, and four teeny cakes.

Ready for a tasting? Let’s tuck in.

Sicilian pastry, copyright Jann Huizenga

Sicilian pastry, copyright Jann HuizengaSicilian pastry, copyright Jann Huizenga

Sicilian pastry, copyright Jann Huizenga


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45 comments to Pastry Gems

  • I want half a dozen of everything! Mamma mia, what lovely little petit fours! You lucky, lucky woman! I swear, it’s a good thing I don’t live in Italy. I’d weigh 300 pounds in record time! hee hee! 🙂

    • Jann

      Bella, the thing is: to get to this coffee bar I have to walk up about 300 steps, and then back down, sweating and panting. So it all sort of evens out weight-wise. xxxx

  • O the little things are what I miss the most Jann. it’s a little tug at the heart strings this post, as it would be to all of us far from Italy who have known these everyday pleasures most Italians can still happily take for granted. Grazie bella!!!! xox

  • Pistachio mousse, pistachio custard! What a mouthwatering idea. How gorgeous xx

  • I want IT ALL, please!

    I adOOOore pistachio. Seriously, I just love the syllables to roll off my tongue when I say it!

    Lets have coffee soon, Sweet Jann!!! XXXxxxx

  • Oh I’m so going for coffee and a cake with you !!!!

  • I would love that mille foglie! The coffee and pastries in Italy are the best.

  • Anitre

    I am squealing with delight just looking at those beauties! I could eat them all. In fact, we’re going to try this place when we’re back in early February. Is this your local cafe?

    • Jann

      Ciao Anitre, it is not my local caffe since it’s “all the way” up in Ragusa Superiore (on the main piazza just under the cathedral), but I do try to get up there once in a while.

  • carmela

    Grazie per evermi trasportato indietro ai tempi della mia gioventu’. Mio padre mi portava con lui tutte le domeniche in piazza San Giovanni, dove s’íncontrava con il suo capo cantiere e se veniva pagato per il lavoro fatto mi comprava un gelato al Caffe’Italia. Purtroppo non succedeva regolarmente e molte domeniche ritornavamo ad Ibla a mani vuote. Tanto volte penso che sara’stata una delle ragioni piu’impoirtanti alla sua decisione di vuovere la famiglia all’éstero circa 50 anni fa.

  • Gregory

    Post a photo of the pastry they make for St Agata if you can

  • Sam

    My local cafe serves enormous Danishes, donuts, and muffins. If they would shrink them down to the size you show in these photos, I think a lot of people would lose weight.

    • Jann

      In all fairness, Sicily also offers some pretty monumental pastries such as the croissants stuffed with pistachio creme. But on the whole, they’re a little more modes in size than breakfast goodies in the US. Thanks for stopping by, Sam.

  • I could sit there forever. Thanks, Jann!

    • Jann

      Ciao Susan, and thanks so much for dropping by. If you’ve been to this bar, you know that the owner is an absolutely sweetheart.

  • ria

    Yumm….they are all decadent looking, especially the number three.

    • Jann

      Glad you enjoyed the virtual tasting, Ria. A lot less caloric than the real thing. Now I have to get rid of the little roll that falls over my belt. 🙁

  • John Schinina

    Not Fair,
    You did it this time, my brain reset button got pushed. Hope your enjoying them with a double expresso.

    • Jann

      Ha John! The “doppio espresso” is what my husband always orders–and every time the barista seems somewhat startled. Sicilians don’t seem to do this “double” thing much–I think they’d rather have a single espresso every hour or so, slipping away from work multiple times throughout the day.

  • Toni

    Those look wonderful!!!! I’ll try one of each!

  • These are so pretty, Jann, and sound delicious! Too bad the Internet hasn’t found a way for you to actually send us a sample!!

    • Jann

      Debbie, you’re so right. Until the internet can deliver actual smells and tastes, it’s just a feeble imitation of real life. xxxxx

  • Emalene Renna

    Oh how I remember the wonderful tasty delights when I was there for three weeks
    My mid-morning snack, Everyday, They all were so good I didn’t have a favorite
    and resisted the temptation to have TWO

    • Jann

      Oh, Emalene–I bet you’re sorry now that you resisted the temptation of 2! Ibla continues to miss you.

  • Oh to be back in Ragusa. I’ll order the little pistachio mousse on biscuit please.

  • You are always so good about sharing. Thanks for including us and describing everything so beautifully.

    • Jann

      Ciao Rosann. My pleasure. Thanks for stopping by & you know I always eagerly await your Rome posts. Because if it weren’t Sicily, it would have to be Rome.

  • Nancy

    Look delicious

  • Perfect little tastes without going overboard! There is a restaurant here that does tiny desserts in shot glasses; you can order three to do the taste-test. Much better than super-sized!

    • Jann

      Shot-glass desserts! What a great & fun idea, Nan. Maybe the US will one day soon get over the super-size me approach to gastronomy.

  • vicki carol

    Oh Dear,
    Do I really have to look at those mouth watering treats just after I promised myself that I would lose 10 pounds. The Sicilian’s have such a way with everything they design, even a cookie. The artistic touch is such a part of the total eating experience. Bella.

  • Larry May

    I can hardly wait for my next visit just before Easter.

  • cemal karahan

    Ooohh delicious Jann, but I wonder how you keep being so thin eating all these desserts no matter how small portion they are…? Bon appetit…!

    • Jann

      Uh, Cemal, you’re very sweet but I would not say “so thin.” If I still fit in some of my old clothes, it’s only because I’m virtually car-less in Sicily, which means lots and lots of walking.

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