Friday, June 01, 2007

"A Big Scoop of Sicily"

"It's horns, Vespas, sunglasses even though the sun's not out, cigarettes, litter, family, and lots of strutting. It's a little kid wearing two shades of orange clothes and his dad with the same two shades on his cone. It's a guy who rides by with a cardboard license plate taped to his scooter and a micro fender-bender in the street and the Italian-style arm flapping that goes with it.

"It's a big scoop of Sicily."

These lines are the ending of an article entitled "Getting in Their Licks" by Joe Ray that appeared in the Boston Globe last week. "Sicilians have succeeded if you are one with the strawberry," he writes.
It is great to have the opinions of my friends and me validated in this article. It's now granita season again, and we are loving Sunday mornings at the bar/cafe with pistachio, almond, chocolate, lemon, coffee, and strawberry granita being offered right now. Later on in the summer, there will be mulberry (my personal favorite) and maybe peach. Only fresh ingredients are used, of course.

In the article, he talks about the entire "ice cream culture" of Sicily and its superiority to Naples and the rest of Italy. There are references to the pistachios of Bronte, just around Etna from us. He even names some of the best places for ice cream and granita in Sicily, but he doesn't know about the best place of all--Papaveri Papere--our bar of choice in Nicolosi, which has, by far, the best granita, pastries, hot chocolate, and barmen, all of whom have fun trying out their English on us. There is Leonardo (the artist), Michael (trying to get Kendra to let him drive her Audi), and two or three others who sometimes already have the cappucino on the bar before we order it!

This is the bar where we meet for what sometimes stretches in hours of fun and laughs, swapping outrageous stories of work and travel and Sicily and planning outings for fabulous food and sights. Ranging in age from early 30s to nearly 60, we are an unlikely group that has somehow become fast friends and support group. We pretty much all love granita and eating it for breakfast, like the Sicilians, is the greatest. How can you not like a country that does that?

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At June 02, 2007 10:53 AM, Blogger Kendra said...

What a great shot of Christine. :)

I'm thinking that I might get a split granite tomorrow...half chocolate and half strawberry (reminiscent of strawberries dipped in chocolate)...with whipped cream on top, naturally.

At June 03, 2007 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm...boy, do I miss the good stuff! I'm so happy to have found PRONTO....a Italian store in K-town! It has fresh Sicilian produce, fresh (frozen)pasta, wines, etc.....but, alas, no granite! Enjoy some for me---summer specials of mulberry and peach, but I'll take limone anytime! ENJOY---Hope


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