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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Ten Things to be Thankful for in Sicily

November 22, 2012

Here are a few of my favorite things in Sicily, and what I’m thankful for.

Young chefs-in-training in Catania, Sicily, copyright Jann  Huizenga

Laundry on the line in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Dirt on onions in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Stone fountain in Southeast Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Man on bench in Southeast Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Sicilian brioscia, copyright Jann Huizenga

Beach in Southeast Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Espresso bar in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Fruit market in Vizzini, Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Bowl of Sicilian granita & gelato, copyright Jann Huizenga

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Ice at First Light

July 26, 2012

When I first came to Sicily I though it was just plain weird: who ever heard of shoveling ice into your mouth at dawn????

But now I think it’s brilliant. These soporific temperatures demand it.

Apparently, Sicily’s Arab conquerors (10th-11th centuries) were the first to blend snowflakes from Mount Etna with sweet fruit juices.

Look at all the flavors you can get nowadays!

Be sure to pair your breakfast granita with a big fat Sicilian brioscia or two.

Mulberry granita in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Mulberry (gelsi) granita

Prickly pear granita, copyright Jann Huizenga

Prickly pear (fichi d’India) granita

Almond granita in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Toasted almond (mandorla) granita

Lemon granita in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Lemon (limone) granita, my fave

Chocolate granita in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Chocolate (cioccolata) granita with cream and nuts (soooo decadent)

Roberta Corradin, copyright Jann Huizenga

My friend Roberta always mixes things up. Here she ordered almond granita mixed with ice coffee. Did you know you can create your own drinks in Italy and the barista will oblige? (Dipping bread into granita is the normal m.o. of islanders at breakfast.)

Read here how it is made.

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