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Gastronomic journey in Sicily – Part 2

by Filippo di Lenardo, 8 May 2017

A gastronomic journey in Sicily

journey in Sicily - a city break

A place that will steal your hearts!

For our second part of our Sicilian experience, we started our journey in the Vittoria area, an area known for making some of Sicily’s most interesting wines. Over the last few years the quality of Sicily’s wine production has sky rocketed. In the past, this region used to be considered a wine tank where to buy cheap wine or for mass producers to buy high quantity of very mature grapes. Thankfully, due to the hard work and the common belief of the locals that this land can give birth to fine wines, many producers have started to focus on quality rather than quantity.

grapesParticularly in this area there are some spectacular artisans that really do produce special wines. Because of the soil composition and the peculiar microclimate, wines here tend to be very elegant and more mineral despite the high temperatures that the area can reach in summer. A great example is Nero D’Avola which becomes a completely different wine when produced in Sicily. Full bodied but yet elegant and refined. The star here however in my opinion is Frappato, an indigenous red grape which gives birth to light bodied wines, more similar to a Burgundy in style; it really is hard to believe when you taste this wine that it is made in the heart of the Mediterranean. Blending these two grapes and you will obtain Cerasuolo di Vittoria which is the perfect crowd pleaser as it combines the robustness of Nero D’Avola with the delicacy of Frappato. This wine production area would make any wine society want to get on a plane and travel here immediately – not only are these wine excellent, the area in which they are produced is beautiful. It is the ideal location to organise exclusive events and enjoy these stunning wines.

The next stop was further north in the Chiaromonte area. Here there are two things that are particularly delicious: Olive oil and pork.

olive oilThis area in fact is believed to produce some of Italy’s finest extra virgin olive oils from the local varietal Tonda Iblea. I decided to visit one of my favourite producers who in recent years has been collecting an impressive amount of awards. A small family run business that only seeks the very best quality. All four of their olive oils are utterly delicious, quite different between each other and depending on which one you select it is perfect for dressing a salad (what a salad!), cheese, fish or meat. You can even use them to bake some wonderful desserts such as their lemon, olive oil and rosemary cake…a cake to die for!

It’s always magical to experience how olive oil is produced and then enjoy a rustic lunch at the producer’s estate as you really get to understand the quality behind this product! We often offer this experience as one of our great corporate trip ideas for our clients who are looking to organise a unique incentive.

After this enlightening tasting, I arrive at this “pork institution” where they have been serving the same menu for decades. A few simple dishes that play tribute to the local breed of pork, Nebrodi  – and what a tribute! Of course you have to start the meal with a selection of cold cuts followed by their mouth-watering cheese and sausage risotto and finish it off with a succulent stuffed pork chop. It’s amazing to see that this type of restaurant still exists and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to have tasted such an incredible selection of food.

As a luxury travel advisor I consider myself to be so lucky to have the unique opportunity to visit all these amazing hidden gems across Italy and I am so proud and excited each time I get to showcasing the very best that this incredible country has to offer.

Having travelled almost everywhere in Italy in search of each region’s treasures, I have to admit that Sicily has truly stolen a piece of my heart. It is a place that really has it all and it must be considered when planning special celebrations in Italy!

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