This book depicts one of the most vibrant street cultures in the world. The typical foods found in back alleys and open markets simultaneously provide history lessons. History and geography are key ingredients to every dish in Sicily. Ignoring the history is like ignoring the seasoning—you might as well not even try. Geography matters. The street food changes from cities less than one hour from each other. Vivid descriptions of the towns and their specialties go hand in hand with what is being eaten, creating a sensational experience for you. Sicilian street food culture is unlike anything the world because Sicilian cuisine is not Italian. The consumption of pasta may be equivalent, but Sicilians have had their food impacted by the Greeks, Arabs, Spanish, and Italians. This has resulted in layers of flavoring that typically use salty and sweet together, sharp acidity, and spices attributed to North Africa. Culturally, Sicilians do everything outside because the climate permits it. People leave their houses in the morning and don’t return until late at night. It’s a social culture, and more often than not, at least one meal per day will consist of street food. It can be a pastry from a pasticceria on the way to work in Messina or grilled intestine in Palermo for lunch. Oysters are shucked in open markets in Siracusa, and horse sandwiches are the late-night bite of choice for Catania. The street food scene integrates seamlessly into everyday life. The writing turns into a love letter to Sicily at points. Even knowing the island as well as I thought I did, I never saw it in the light that I did on that trip. Exposing some of the best kept secrets and everyday rituals side by side, it is an all encompassing how-to guide for anyone who wants to experience one of the most ingrained parts of Sicilian lifestyle. I wrote this book in a personal matter. I shared childhood memories and recent experiences. It’s written in the form of a travel journal because an objective and formal guide would not give the book the soul it deserves. I want readers to feel connected to me. I want to be there with you and take you on a delicious adventure through Sicily. We will smell the jasmine that hangs heavy in the air of Taormina at midnight. On a volcano, we will learn the difference between lardo and fat. For focaccia, we will go to the tallest town and eat it with unparalleled views. For memory’s sake, I’ll show you the port towns of the Palermo province. There, we can hang around the boats and get cheap sardines. Welcome, to Sicilian Streats.
Food & Wine