Carciofi alla Brace – Artichokes Cooked on Embers Recipe – Sicilian Artichokes

Pronounced car-cho-fee, artichokes are one of my favorite vegetables.  I may call them Carciofi the rest of my life because its a lot more fun to say than ‘artichokes’.  During artichoke season in Sicily you will see big plumes of smoke wafting on the roadsides in Sicily. Local vendors set up a huge trays of coals with 50 or so artichokes cooking away. We roll down Continue reading “Carciofi alla Brace – Artichokes Cooked on Embers Recipe – Sicilian Artichokes”

Are Sicilian Blood Oranges in the States?!?

I think that I have written about the blood oranges of Sicily (Arancia Rossa di Sicilia).  They are one of my favorite foods in Sicily.  During the orange season we keep a regular supply and I eat at least one per day.  All of the fruit and veggie markets have huge containers full of them.  There are a few different varieties as well.  My favorite are the Tarocco.  The blood oranges of Sicily are IGP (Indicazione Geografica Protetta), which basically Continue reading “Are Sicilian Blood Oranges in the States?!?”

Arancia Rossa Have Arrived!

We have been keeping an eye on the produce markets waiting for these oranges to arrive.  Last year we became obsessed with eating these.  Since everything is seasonal around here you have to wait in anticipation until they arrive again.  I think this build up makes the oranges taste even better.  Even with that in mind… I can honestly say that I have never tasted oranges like this.  I know that I have said this before about artichokes and other produce and you are probably sick of hearing it, but it is true.  The taste is unreal.  It makes me want to go to Florida and drop off a few bags and slap them around a little bit.

One of the things I like most about the local oranges  Continue reading “Arancia Rossa Have Arrived!”

Does the Mediterranean Diet Include Cannoli ?


I saw this article today about how people could reduce the risk of stroke by 33% to 46% if they followed a Mediterranean diet.  This made me laugh since we are in the middle of the Mediterranean and I haven’t seen a whole lot of health nuts around!  The diet around here doesn’t really fall into the rules of the “Mediterranean diet”, when they enjoy humungous plates of pasta as a starter eventually leading to a round of cannoli as a finisher at midnight.  Nowhere is this more apparent than at the beaches during the summer when everyone shamelessly bares it all in their banana hammocks and bikinis.  🙂  At least they are proud of themselves!

In fairness… the non pasta or pizza dishes are healthier around here.  A lot of raw fruits & veggies.  Also seafood is a mainstay in the diet.  The biggest change that I have noticed is the primary use of olive oil over butter.  The news article does touch upon this fact about olive oil being an important part of the equation.  I have noticed that I have been eating a lot more of the foods that I note above… but this also includes the foods in the “bad” paragraph.  Overall I would say its tough to keep on a healthy regiment here, with the choices at restaurants and the irresistible desserts! Luckily I have hockey and surfing to keep things in balance.

Should the name of this diet be changed??  Maybe if it was called the “Italian diet”… then I would definitely have to throw a red flag on that!


Chiacchiere Season in Sicily

Chiacchiere is pronounced Kee-ah-kerry.  The word chiacchiere actually translates to “gossip” in Italian.  The treats are supposedly named this because this is the activity that people do while eating them with coffee.   That cracks me up that they would name something after that, but Im not surprised because the Italians definitely do gossip over coffee. (locally: cafe, cafe macchiato, cappucchino, etc)

You can get Chiacchiere baked (forno) or fried (fritto).  Surprisingly we Continue reading “Chiacchiere Season in Sicily”

Ethnic Section @ Sicilian Grocery Store

The Italians are a very proud bunch!  So much so that probably around 99% of the restaurants that you find here are Italian/Sicilian.  Im not kidding about the 99% 😐   Luckily I have honed my kitchen skills when it comes to Mexican/Greek/Chinese/Thai and the like to get our worldly mix.  Having access to the commissary on base is a necessity because below is the wide selection for “non Italian” that you will find at the local Italian grocery stores.  Literally we are talking one shelf that is supposed to cover rest of the globe.  Have you ever seen Uncle Bens Tortilla chips?!?  Well now you have:



What do you do with this fish?

I know that the Sicilians like to use everything…. and I mean everything.  I see many different things at the grocery store that baffle me.  This fish is an example.  I have caught big rays in San Diego bay when I used to fish there, but I would never keep them.  These little rays at the top left of the fish display at the store look like they have very little meat and the fact that they are red just makes me wonder…. what in the world do they do with these fish?   Any ideas out there?


Sicilian Grocery Stores

I have had some questions about the grocery stores here in Sicily.  Its funny to me how people think that Sicily is a 3rd world country.  Sicily has been civilized hundreds of years more than the U.S.   Granted the culture is definitely different and Sicilians do hold onto old traditions.  One of these traditions are the local markets.  In America there are the large supermarkets that have everything under one roof, while in Sicily the majority of markets are split up into specialties.

For example nearby there is a great baker that specializes in breads and right next door to him is a place that has fresh veggies and fruits.  Granted you have to spend the time to go to each spot, but each has its own personality that makes it kinda fun.  And the quality of their products can’t be beat since they are dedicated to those products.

There are also big grocery stores in Continue reading “Sicilian Grocery Stores”

Uno Anno

A couple weeks ago we hit our 1 year anniversary of living in Sicily.  Its amazing that we have been here this long… it has really flown by.  Moving here was a huge leap of faith in that I had never even been to Europe before moving out here.  Jess had some experience from living in Spain for 6 months with a study abroad during University, but overall we were coming into Sicily blind.

People’s reactions to our plans were Continue reading “Uno Anno”