By: Fraser & Hoyt
(POSTED: August 30, 2004)
Food & Wine of Sicily
The largest island in the Mediterranean has attracted successive waves of conquerors, each assimilated into a rich Sicilian mosaic of art and architecture. The raw beauty of the island is a splendid backdrop to the vast cultural riches to be explored: Ancient Greek Temples, Roman Amphitheatres, Byzantine Mosaics, Norman Churches, and Exuberant Baroque Palaces.
Many of the original foreign cultures, and their foods, have flourished in Sicily's sunshine and soil.
From Bacala (dried codfish), introduced by the Normans, to the almond paste, ricotta and nuts brought by the Greeks and Arabs, to the island's two most celebrated ingredients: the eggplant (from Asia) and tomato (from North America). Surprisingly, the differing cultures have not upset the hallmark simplicity of Sicilian cooking. A fundamental of Sicilian gastronomy is that a dish will rarely have more than three ingredients. It's the right combination that makes the difference. The only thing lacking was good Sicilian wine.
The climate is ideal for winemaking but the industry has suffered from lack of education and foreign interest. In recent years these obstacles have been overcome with the island finally making a name for itself in the wine world. Recent successes such as Camelot Firriato (a blend of Merlot and Sauvignon) Passito di Pantelleria, a fruity red, and Pallermo's famous Almond wine.
A delightful 8-day tour of Sicily is now available during the September - November period from $3999pp. Included is airfare from Halifax, seven nights first class accommodation, six dinners, guided visits and admissions to museums and archeological sites, transportation via private motor coach and escorted by a trip manager. For more information, please call Richard Oraniuk at 902.421.1113 or toll free at 800.565.8747 and ask for the e-dining special!