Sicily, Day 12 – November 28, 2016

The  breakfast offerings varied as we changed towns and hotels. Today, along with  many other choices, frittatas  or individual orders of eggs were prepared on site. My favorite items at the buffet were the delicious  bread and butter!

After breakfast, we boarded the bus for a visit to a small family run  olive oil producer called Gulino. This business is completely “green.” The company still picks the olives by hand.  Their trees are watered by rain. We were all able to taste the olive oil, both by  itself  and on bread, and as an ingredient in caponata. Everyone bought some of this delicious olive oil to take home.

Our next stop was Chiaramonte Gulfi, a hilltop town famous for its pork products. Because Chiaramonte Gulfi is inland rather than on the coast, this was  the first time we were hearing about sources of food  that came from the land rather than from the sea.  We spotted a gelateria.  It wasn’t close to  lunch time, but it’s always time for gelato. I chose pistachio and fiori di latte. In Italy, the locals always order two flavors, and  pistachio is the most popular flavor. “Fiori di latte” translates to flowers of milk. Whatever it was, it was delicious and it went very well with pistachio.

I noticed that the gelateria also sold cookies. Then, in one of the cases, I saw the word “nucatoli.” I had to have one! Although the ingredients in these nucatoli were very similar to those  made by Maria Grammatica, the shape  of the cookie was different. These were narrower, and once filled, they are shaped into the letter S. As soon as we left, I regretted having only bought one.

Back in Ragusa, we went to town  and found a quiet trattoria that looked perfect for lunch. We met a  delightful couple from London. How easy it is for Europeans to leave home and be immersed in another culture in just a few hours! They recommended the octopus appetizer, and it was very good. For our main dish, we  shared ravioli in a sauce of pistachios and olive oil. This was one of our simplest and most delicious  meals.

At 5 PM that night, our group had a cooking lesson. We prepared another of my favorites, arancini, balls of rice stuffed with  ground veal, peas, tomato puree, carrots and onions, and  then deep fried. This is a delicious and truly filling appetizer. We went  to the restaurant next door for dinner, where we enjoyed ravioli with tomato sauce, grilled pork sausages and ribs, salad, and dessert. Our tower was directly above the restaurant, so we had no problem finding our way back to our room.

We walked 9,829 steps and the equivalent of 53 flights of stairs.

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