Eccentricity of Sicilian people at the table in 22 points, Second part.

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 fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to sleep in Belveliero you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email 😉 )

Annunci

Eccentricity of Sicilian people at the table in 22 points , First part

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui.

I’m late with “English” post, I know but I write too long articles and when I try to translate them I would cry, the original italian version has been written two weeks ago :/

This post has been inspired by my mother, who once, seeing the bread upside down, scolded me in a peevish way ‘Don’t put the bread upside down!
But…why?
Because you mustn’t put it in this way!!!
What kind of answer is that? It’s a very sicilian answer, there isn’t a reason, it’s like this all along, it’s not necessary asking it also if it’s a mistery the reason. This episode wasn’t the only one, it was a real mania of my mother and when I discovered the reason I began to observe all strange things at the table of sicilian people. There are many eccentricities but before I sat down at the table plunged in the happy ignorance.

1. Don’t put upside down the bread!. Because it’s the body of Christ. Not because all do it just in this way!, nobody knows the reason nor asks it. And not even because, how my mother answered, trying to gloss over my harassing questions, the sesame seeds fall on the table >_> (here the most wanted bread has the sesame on).

2. Nothing is wasted. Considering that the most wanted bread has the sesame on and considering that the sesame is insidious and moves everywhere and you find the tablecloth seeds covered, considering that the breadsticks are splendor of restaurants and that a sicilian thinks about food 23 hours 24, considering that his/her thought has to be alleviated during the delay of dishes and, this is the most important thing, considering that nothing is wasted, also when there are the breadsticks, all sicilians, inevitably, as if they have a tic, moisten the fingertip and begin to plant it on the little seeds and to eat them, like an eager bird. They nod, talk gritting their teeth and pic, pic, pic fasten the seeds and bring them in their teeth, this is also a system which allows to re-moisten the finger in automatic way, like the self-inking stamps.

3. There is always the bread on the table. Both with one dish and with ten, because as my father said “You put in weight because you eat too and you eat too because you don’t eat the bread (to accompany the other foods, so you don’t satisfy your hunger)“. If you have the belly you know the reason.

4. But there isn’t ever the room-temperature water. There is always the cold water in winter and the water with ice cubes in summer. The expression “ambient temperature” is used only by the gardeners.

5. If it isn’t fried probably it hurts. The grilled food is permitted only during the good feeds in the country or in the terrace or in the balcony or in a street fenced by two cars. The parmigiana with grilled eggplants isn’t even served in the hospital. The fried food is everywhere in Sicily and it’s impossible avoid it. The fried has been under discussion also with my sweet love, the Medlar, who shifted me from the burner saying “You can’t cook!” because I’ve put less one half litre of oil to fry the zucchini for the pasta and I’ve added a drop of water. Since then he cooks and I wander around home into a coma because of fatty acids.

6. Tanto ogghiu unni’ chiange. “Because he doesn’t cry drops of oil”, so it’s useless. In Sicily the olive oil is used to cook the stones too, so it’s very precious. When olive oil pours down, all thirty-five commensals stand up to recover it. Somebody can say because it brings bad luck but actually because it’s very expensive because you buy it from your country neighbour, you don’t buy it at supermarket. Look 7th point.

7. Don’t buy the olive oil at the supermarket! When you are an university student and study far from your home, also the pantry moves with you and with it there is the bottle of fresh olive oil, that one bought from your neighbour, who has the plot adjacent at yours and four olive trees and wanted a kidney in excharge of his genuine oil, but we know that the genuineness costs. The fresh olive oil paradox is that has a cloudy and suspect colour and a poisonous flavour but this oil divides the biomaniac sicilian people, there are those people who wait ONLY the bitter fresh olive oil to eat it with the bread, rigorously made in a country bakery with wood oven, and the people who use ONLY the oil of before year, because it has a reassuring colour and a compatible with human life flavour (me). There is just one thing in common, don’t buy the olive oil at the supermarket, because you don’t know the origin, the olives, when they have been harvested, maybe it’s mixed with motor oil!!!. The bioconspiracy is old hat to sicilians.

8. Rosticceria for breakfast. When you enter in a bar to have the breakfast at 7 o’clock the counters are full of sweets and rosticceria, baked but above all fried food, for example arancine, it’s normal. I think that it was normal in Italy and not only in Sicily. I changed idea after my visit at Vatican Museums.
Once I visited Vatican Museums and considering that they are big my friend Andrea suggested to bring the packed lunch. After 10 o’clock a sicilian already thinks about the lunch, so at half past eleven you expect the rosticceria ready also at bars of Rome.
Bar number one, only rice salad.
Bar number two, rice salad and sandwiches.
Bar number three, rice salad, sandwiches and pizza.
ME: “Excuse me, are there only these dishes?” (Three full counters)
Barman: “What do you mean?”
ME: “Isn’t there rosticceria?”
B.: “There is the rice salad!”
ME: (Yes, now I put the rice in my pocket!). “No, no, rosticceria, I mean arancine, calzoni (baked closed sandwich)…”(iris with meat were a too advanced level request)
B.: “Calzoni? By this time?” O_O
ME: “But it’s even eleven o’clock!”
SILENCE
B.: “Sorry Miss, we have just this food”
When you go to the museum, you learn many things…

9. Badly made arancine. Talking about Rome I remember the poem written by a roman poet, Trilussa. In this poem he writes that happiness is a little thing, for example for the bee the happiness is a flower.
When you wake up at 7 o’clock to go to lesson and outside it’s cold with eight degrees, when it’s recreation time or come out of university after ten hours, or the break time is arrived and you are tired, sleepy, bored or stressed out, happiness could be near. It’s small, cheap, magic and fried! It’s arancina, that hot oily fatty ball that t’arricria, comforts you, before to buy it and after you have eaten it. Thought, desired, yearned and then finally conquered and eaten, after you see the world in a colorful way, pink like the ham, green like the peas and red like meat sauce. The hash house that disappoints these expectations risks the financial collapse (or a huge 800A (sicilian swear word) written with spray paint on the shop window).

10. Badly called arancine. Arancina is female and I talked about this matter here. Unfortunately the sicilians of western side of island call arancine with a male name and in Sicily there is the Big War for the gender of arancine. Really. When the fight about this matter begins, it lasts for hours, days, weeks. Maybe the argument of the post or the article is the sicilian whale or the UFOs in Sicily or the sicilian whales which use flying saucers, it’s not important, if someone writes arancina or arancino in a comment, all following comments are just about the gender of arancinA/arancinO. I swear. If you have to ask an arancina and don’t know if it’s the correct name in the correct place, just point your finger at it.

Soon (I hope) the Second part with other eleven points, stay tuned… 🙂

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 fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to sleep in Belveliero you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email 😉 )