Saturday, September 11, 2010

Scrumptious Sicily: Part 2

It's really the simple things that make a good holiday a great holiday. In this low-cost airline era, getting to a decent beach given the right time of the year, is hardly a challenge. The challenge is finding those small, and seemingly easy details which need to be done well to elevate the holiday standards. And these were my highlights on those "icing-on-the-cake" touches..

Granita & Gelato

We try to be jack-of-all-trades these days, it's not nearly enough to just be darned good at one thing. Sicilians (and indeed Italians) laugh in the face of this, especially when it comes to these icy deserts, judging by how many graniterias and gelatarias are located all over the island.

Who can resist this glossy, full-bodied and profusely indulgent ice cream variety. I say "variety" of ice cream because it's not really like the regular stuff, is it? If gelato was a lady, it would be the generously busty, wholesome and magnetic opera-singing diva on stage!

Yet another Sicilian special, granita. Much less full-bodied, this is the bikini-clad, flippant fling you only have when it's a beach holiday. I love how both gelato and granita come in infinite flavours, there are whole boards filled with every possible imaginable and unimaginable flavour. Above was a flirty cherry granita with chopped bits of the fruit mixed in, a perfect apres-sun cooler!


No surprises that an island bears great fish, it's a particular type of tuna that fills these waters though. Off the North West coast of Sicily are the Egadi Islands, of which the largest is Favignana and is a sublime little day trip. We chanced upon an adorable semi-Tunisian style cafe called Camarillo Brillo, and these two fantastic tuna dishes kept us smiling:

Super-duper tuna burger! Not sure that I've ever had a tuna burger before, this was the real business. The pate was firm but succulent, and had roasted pine nuts mixed in. Slightly sauteed chips with fresh pesto was a darling accompaniment,

Tuna with raisins, almonds, tomatoes and balsamic glaze. Sounds incredibly simple, but again it was like tasting the earth and sea on a plate. Remember, it's all in the small details!

And finally, I completely digress food-wise with this highlight, but it was so worth showing:-

Favignana is one of those beautifully unspoilt and untouched tiny islands where time just stands still. The shore is still amazingly shallow even 100 metres into the sea, so you can walk a fair bit into the sparkling azure waters. What better post-lunch rendezvous?

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