Street Eats in Palermo

Tell people you’re traveling to Sicily and you’re liable to hear something about the street food.  What you hear will depend on who you ask, but it can range from “they eat gelato in brioche for breakfast!!” to “it’s all fried and greasy”.  And neither statement is entirely true.  While Sicilian food on the whole … Continue reading Street Eats in Palermo

The History of Sicily is On Your Plate

Trying to identify the heritage of Sicily's food is like trying to unpick the ingredients of a hearty stew... "hmmm, I can taste Roman, Norman, Moorish, maybe some Greek.. oh, and a little Spanish!" Each wave of invaders/colonizers brought their own tastes and ingredients with them, and many non-native plants like citrus flourished in the … Continue reading The History of Sicily is On Your Plate

Palermo From Market to Plate

Ballarò Market is the oldest and largest of the markets in Palermo, with some families having stalls here for decades. You won’t find an upscale, organic, curated market experience here… there are vendors shouting their wares, motorcycles zipping between the stalls, cats skulking around the discarded fruit and vegetable trimmings on the ground and flies … Continue reading Palermo From Market to Plate

The Best Italian Food You’ve Never Heard Of

If you mention you’re traveling to Puglia, the responses are either “where?” or “why?” The answer to both questions is the same: Puglia has the best food you’ve never heard of. Mario Batali likes it too, “I must admit, I am very high on Puglia. In my opinion this is the “next Tuscany” for the … Continue reading The Best Italian Food You’ve Never Heard Of

How Lemons (and Menton) Made Monaco Famous

Glamorous MonacoThe castle where Monaco startedThe casino is reflected in the mirrored globeThe casino interior (or at least what you can see if you don't pay to gamble) Everyone knows Monaco, famous for glamorous casinos and the rich and famous, but few people have heard of Menton, its French neighbor. And yet Menton is the … Continue reading How Lemons (and Menton) Made Monaco Famous

Want Some Brawn at Your Christmas Dinner?

Conventional wisdom says that Queen Victoria (or more accurately, Prince Albert) invented our modern Christmas traditions – the Christmas tree, carol singing and more.  But that’s misleading since many of our holiday customs (and even foods) date back into the Middle Ages (or even earlier).  It turns out that a Tudor Christmas was remarkably like … Continue reading Want Some Brawn at Your Christmas Dinner?

Musings on British Food

Some random thoughts on food and groceries in Britain, compared to San Francisco.  I'll add more as I come across them. One of the things that has shocked me most about buying groceries in England is the realization of how many preservatives must be in American food.  At home, I can buy a loaf of white … Continue reading Musings on British Food