Sitting in the piazza
Smelling the Coffee, Sweets, Cannoli. Wanting to taste everything.
Entering the Cathedral
Sensing the history. Smelling the faint incense. Musty. Smelling the holiness. Touching smooth, cool marble.
We got off the autostrada in Cefalu, a small seaside community with a world renowned Norman Cathedral. That was the only thing on our agenda for this particular day.The hour was the time of day when life is at its fullest on a Sicilian street; Cigarette smoke wafting from the cafes into our cars, the sea air, the fragrance of bread. New grease smell vs. old grease smell coming from the deep fat frying in which the cannoli shells were dipped, the sweet ricotta – just thinking about “la ricotta” makes me move my tongue along the roof of my mouth- sensually remembering the creaminess. It’s all in “The Fat.”!
When you eat ricotta, there is no product named “skim or light” ricotta. It comes from the azienda directly. And, each region of Sicily has its own particular flavor and texture to their ricotta. Roadside trucks brimming with the new harvest of artichokes – 12 roped together looking like a fan, with their long legs intertwined like lovers. Until I found my house in Sicily, I only knew artichokes from the grocery store – truncated, with their legs cut off close to the bulb of the choke, like an amputee. Not to mention that they were harvested early so that they were expected to ripen on a pallet, in a climate controlled truck while traveling to the east coast for 10 days.Near the sea…
We parked the car in a stone parking lot that crunched and shifted from the weight of a cinquecento weighed down with three passengers. The sea smelled different to me on the north coast of Sicily. The breezes were different – maybe seeing sand rather than volcanic rock made a difference in how I sensed this seaside community. Sitting in the piazza I am able to identify the various notes of the perfumes that blend together becoming “Pure Sicily”
Sea air and Coffee. Coffee and Fried Ravioli. Fried Ravioli and Sweet Cheese. Sweet Cheese and Aged Cheese.