REGION OF SICILY

 

march sicily

 

First of all I would like to thank everyone that joined me so far to help me make “The Regional Food Tour Around Italy” the most popular event of the year! Thank you to all my staff that always work hard from the kitchen creating exquisite and well presented dishes, to the team inside the restaurant giving our Customers First class service with a smile, thank you to the team at Alivini for giving us so much knowledge on the history of wine and thank you to all our lovely Customers that have attended and encouraged me to continue this educational and interesting tour!

On Thursday 29th March we will be knocking on the doors of one of the two gorgeous islands of Italy, the Region of Sicily. As always we will enjoy a five course set menu accompanied by pairing wines and our lovely guest Mr Luigi Allodi from Alivini will be educating us on the tasting wines. Sicily is the largest of the Italian islands, separated from the Continent by the Strait of Messina. It is one of the pearls of Southern Italy and can be discovered, understood and experienced through a series of itineraries dedicated to areas of interest ranging from nature to history and traditions. Nature seems to have endowed all its wonders to this land: mountains, hills and above all the sea, with its incredible colours, its crystal-clear water and the beauty of its seabeds, in no way inferior to those of other seas.

 

THE FOOD

Thanks to its history (everyone from Arabs to Normans governed the island), Sicily’s cuisine represents an interesting mix of cultures. Plus, the island itself is incredibly fertile; produce grown on Sicily includes olives, oranges, lemons, eggplants, tomatoes, pistachios, almonds, grapes, and more—not to mention all of the seafood fished right off the coast. The result? A cuisine that’s fresh, varied, and absolutely delicious! Fish and seafood, therefore, are superb – especially tuna, sardines, clams, anchovies, swordfish and prawns – and often better than meat, the exceptions being agnello (lamb) in spring and pork from pigs raised in the Madonie mountains along the north coast (also the source of ricotta, caciocavallo and other fine sheep’s cheeses). Vegetables such as aubergine often take the place of meat (once too expensive for many Sicilians) in pasta and other dishes, which usually receive an added culinary punch from raisins, capers, herbs, seeds and garlic. Beans and pulses such as fava, lentils and chickpeas are also common, as are nuts (notably the pistachios from Bronte on Mount Etna) and citrus fruits (Sicily grows most of Europe’s blood oranges).

 

 THE WINE

One of the most exciting aspects of a gastronomic trip to Sicily is a chance to witness the revolution that is taking place in the island’s wine industry. Once Sicily was known for quantity rather than quality, producing strong vini da taglio (literally “wines of cut”) that were produced in bulk and sent to be “cut” with wines in France to boost their colour. Now, though, Sicily’s natural advantages for wine making have been matched by progressive methods. Traditional white Sicilian grapes (grillo, inzolia, grecanico) have been combined with chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and the occasional viognier. Much the same has happened with the reds, the island’s traditional red grape, the syrah-like Nero d’Avola, having been combined with merlot, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon.

Don’t miss out on another amazing Food Tour Around the beautiful Nation of Italy! Any questions, please feel free to call us on 01279 792002 or email us on info@marcositalianrestaurant.co.uk

Best wishes

Marco & team

thomas davisthomas davis