I had to publish this post before Christmas but… this is my snail blog, above all the English (my terrible English, I know) version, so, please, forgive my lateness 😦
Anyway here the second part of the post about the strangeness of sicilians. Sicilians are very strange people in general and they think ever the food so imagine the multitude of absurdities of this people at the table. At least 22, here the first ten, now the others 🙂
Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui.
11. The “sfincione” pizza. It’s the second culinary incomprehension in Sicily. The “sfincione“, a typical street dish of Palermo, isn’t a pizza! and Palermitans get angry when you make the mistake. It’s a two fingers tall dough, dressed with tomato sauce, onions and “grascia” (dirt), because the best sfincioni are sold on the street, in little carts, built by the pitchman’s grandfather and NEVER cleaned by the grandmother. The best street food in the world is made with decades of bacteria, oil and spits, sorry 🙂
12. The italian dictionary is wrong. If you ask for marzipan fruit, anybody tell you that marzipan doesn’t exist in Sicily. Try to ask for “Frutta Martorana” and they’ll pass bucketful of almond scented fruits to you. The bread crumbs? It doesn’t exist too, there is the “muddìca” or “mollica” in Sicily.
13. A satanist son is better than a vegan one. I think that with the exception of caponata and marzipan fruit, there aren’t many dishes without pig, sheep or horse meat, milk and derivatives, without pecorino or ricotta cheese in every form. The survival in Sicily is very very hard for a vegan. If you don’t eat cheese, egg or meat and are sicilian, don’t say it to your grandma or mother, they may feel bad. Get off! At night, in exile, but I don’t know who could help you. Being a vegan condemns to loneliness and to disqualification from every social event of sicilians, first among everything the feast of grilled sausage and bacon on Easter Monday, but also that one on 25th April (Italy’s Liberation Day), on 1st May (Labor Day), on 2nd June (Italian Republic Day), on Assumption day (a religious holyday, 15th August) and for every sunday on which you don’t know what to do and someone makes the land, the garage or the balcony, available.
14. I don’t like ricotta cheese. It’s a variation of 13th point. It’s a rarity but there are people who don’t like ricotta cheese. The sheep would be worth staying on the flag of Sicily, in place of Medusa and being declared sacred, together to its biggest gift, the milk…and the ricotta cheese. Hot, cool, sweet, salty or baked, it’s hard to avoid it in Sicily but nobody wants to do it! Hating ricotta is like hating Nutella, who declares a such heresy is looked with suspect and diffidence.
15. Eat slowly. Me and Giovanni are sicilian but when we sit down at the table, Giovanni seems Flash Gordon’s lost son, grown among ostriches in Africa. Fortunately opposites attract and when I’m at the table the time expands, my time perception collapses and an hour seems a quarter. During the meal we talk and waste time, with one dish or five ones, we relax and decompress the worries, till the coffee and the grappa. When I eat the second second course (it’s not echo), Giovanni has worn the jacket. There are few people as Sicilians who have understood the pleasure to eat but when there are the lessons about this concept, Giovanni was at the toilet.
16. Eat a farm quickly. Sometimes the reality imposes a chaotic rhythm and a quarter-hour must be of 15 minutes. Ok, Giovanni, sometimes you’re right. But we are in Sicily and the health is important for sicilians, so we can’t be satisfied with only a plate of pasta for all afternoon. For this reason we can eat three dishes, the sweet and the fruit in a quarter hour. To not faint at work and survive till the snack hour.
17. The sunday lunch never before 2 p.m.. It’s rudeness to ask someone to have lunch on Sunday at midday or at 1 o’clock, we aren’t at the hospital. We have to do so many things before! Breakfast at 9 a.m., the break at 10.30, the second break at 12.30, for example with an ice-cream. The midday is the perfect time to eat it because it’s cold and doesn’t occupy too space in the stomach. Aaaaafter you can have lunch, neither before 2 p.m. nor after 4 p.m., it’s Sunday!
18. Being ready for emergences, ever. We do much shopping and cook many dishes for one meal for this reason. Anything could happen and it will happen that day you won’t be ready, as in the perfect version of Murphy’s Law. The famine could come or it could snow for ten minutes and we could be blocked at home because of one millimeter of snow, because nobody has the chains in Sicily (excluded in hinterland). Eating much helps to mantein the corporeal temperature or to have a reserve for cells for the period of famine. We could faint while we are crossing the street, we could die in that case! The palermitan drivers look the traffic light for pedestrians and start when it’s yellow, to gain time, after all the traffic light for drivers will be green in two minutes, it’s the same! A relative with his five sons and daughters in law could arrive or a bus full of tourists could have broken down in front of your house and we don’t chase anyone away and staying all together is always pleasant. We could meet friends at the beach and it’s rude to not invite them under the umbrella to have lunch. Here’s why, sometimes, you see set tables, chairs and baking trays with “anelletti al forno” (baked pasta) at the beach! And also if you don’t meet anyone…all know that the beach whets the appetite! 😀
19. Give back the plate clean. For the emergences (see 18th point) and for courtesy. If there is half kilo of pasta in your plate, you MUST eat all, because it was cooked on purpose. Nobody wants you feel bad because of hypoglycemia near the traffic light. More over, when you will talk about that meal, you will not have to say that there was little food. Obviously you must go for seconds. You can reject the third offering only if you say to want a double portion of sweet.
20. The last spoonful is embarrassing. Before the last little piece, part or slice of everything, the commensals become like the young couples at the first month and stand on ceremony. (In reality all want the last piece and who decides to leave the formal dispute, after regrets. I say always “Yes, I want it” at the first time 🙂 )
21. Cheese on the pasta with sea food. Montalbano Commissioner hates this combination too. Sicilians hate bad made arancine, bad called sfincione but above all they hate the cheese on the pasta with sea food. If someone sees you to do it and wants to take your scalpo with the spoon, nobody will help you. And they’re right.
22. The Earth goes around the Sun, Sicily goes around the Food. Sicilians talk ever about the food and think it continuously. Sometimes a dude arrives at work, at 9 o’clock, and ask to you “What will you have for lunch?”
Don’t forget, it’s to laugh. Obviously we don’t eat caponata for breakfast every day, nor cannoli (as tourists think), but it could happen. (Once I ate caponata for breakfast, but it was midday U_U) 🙂
Bye, bye and sorry for my usual delay and my terrible English.
If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something, you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org
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