This blog has recipes, observations, memories and information collected over my many visits to Sicily and Italy. I came to Australia with my family in the late 1950s and settled in Adelaide; I moved to Melbourne in 2002. Naturally, living in Australia, and travelling to other countries has influenced my cooking. My blog reflects this, therefore the title is All Things Sicilian and More.
I am a mixture of cultures – I live in Australia, was born in Ragusa, (Sicily) and raised in Trieste (northern Italy) where my Sicilian parents met and lived before and after my birth. As a child I spent two months each year in Sicily with my parents during our summer holidays. The Sicilian relatives also came to visit us in Trieste.
Italy is a place I have lived and travelled to many times, but Sicily has always intrigued me both as a child and as an adult and experiencing the differences between Northern and Southern Italy has given me a great opportunity to appreciate regional Italian cooking.
I appreciate the diversity in Sicilian cooking and I am fascinated by locality, origins and variations of recipes especially authentic and traditional recipes. Sicily has a rich history and is the melting pot of many cultures, the result of numerous trade routes, crossovers and conquests. Because of Sicily’s strategic position between Europe and North Africa it has been a crossroad of some great civilizations. In ancient times Sicily was conquered and colonized by Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans. In the middle ages came the Arabs, Normans and Byzantines and later the Catalans, French, Spaniards and Bourbons. The origins of Sicily’s complex gastronomic culture reflect this layering of cultures.
For all the changes in food the majority of Sicilians, especially the older ones, are still preparing many of the dishes they have always eaten and there is still strong usage of local ingredients and a respect for history and tradition. However, particularly during my last visits to Sicily I have noticed that in many restaurants and especially among the younger Sicilians the traditional, regional specialties are being re-invented into contemporary, innovative cuisine.
This is not just a Sicilian occurrence, it is happening all over Italy and elsewhere.
Evolution of recipes is inevitable and when I travel to other countries I enjoy observing that Italian food appears to have become a global phenomenon so it is being reinvented yet again. When traditional recipes meet local ingredients, you can end up with something even more delicious.