Savoring Sicily: A Food Geek's Ode to Exceptional Produce and Simple Pleasures | Day 13 of my 2023 Journal
Produce and the present!
Sometimes we go to places where the produce stands out and overwhelms us. Obviously, anywhere south has more sun, and naturally grown vegetables will be much much better, than anything we can get in a supermarket up North.
But there is so much more to this story. I remember the hazelnuts in Catalunia and how the produce in Portugal showed me new dimensions to quality - I especially remember the kale being sweet and strong and crunchy and nutty, so much so, I would want to eat that and nothing else.
In Catalunia, where we have to spend a lot of time, we have an amazing farmer (hi Dani) who grows and brings wonderful produce, which is one of the reasons Catalunia is sticky to us.
Here, in Sicily, we are overwhelmed by the quality. There is little like it. Salvatore, with his amazing hand build street-shop-van, supplies us with fresh and wonderful quality, and everywhere we go, high-quality EVERYthing comes our way. Our host's neighbor just pressed his olive oil, it is green and rich, and we love it, and our host brings us from his own garden this and that. And all of the supermarkets have the most delicate little local things, blowing us away.
What else do we need?
I am a food geek and have my friend who is a cook visiting, and I love the transformations and processes in the kitchen (and so does my friend). Yet, all we do is care for the produce. Combine the tomato with the olive oil and the balsamic, give the peppers a bit of heat and salt, shred the lettuce, and steam the artichokes. Take the time for the pizza oven, and bake the simplest of simple pizzas, topping with herbs or Parmigiano or both. Or nothing.
The job is more than the skills of the cooking process. It is to respect the individual element and let it shine. I love the simplicity and the presence of this.
Love and light
Where are we now?
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