Good Eatin’: Missing Sicily

List Item: Try 500 of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die

So, I had not been back from Sicily for long and I was missing the availability of antipasto style foods. Due to this we decided on two things. Firstly, we were going to crack open the only jar of foodstuffs I had bought in Italy. Secondly, we would go to Waitrose and pick up some list items.

Food items: Sun-Dried Tomato, Pate Di Carciofi, Bella di Cerignola Olives, Fennel Seed

Okay, so sun-dried tomatoes are another of those things where I am a bit surprised that I had not eaten any of since starting on this list. There isn’t much to say about them, they are sweet, intensely tomatoey and great on a toastie.

The pate di carciofi (an artichoke paste that is heavy on the olive oil) was the only food thing I brought back from Sicily apart from some biscuits for work. Sadly, the only remarkable thing about it was that it has an expiration date of 70 years in the future. The taste of olive oil really overpowers the delicate artichoke flavour. It is, however, a delicious substitute for butter on a sandwich.

The Bella de Cerignola olives were perfect table olives. They were plump and juicy with a meaty texture. The pack that this came with was abundant with fennel seeds which leant their aniseed-like flavouring to the olives. Reminded me of the delicious fennel salami from a few months ago.

Food items: Soppressata di Calabria, Rillette, Reblochon, Pain Au Levain Naturel

When I first tried the Pain au Levain it was pretty unremarkable, like a dense and chewy ciabatta loaf but without the olive oil aftertaste. A few bites later I managed to get a good whiff of bread as I was eating it and it suddenly tasted really good. As a base bread it worked really well with all the competing flavours.

Talking of competing flavours that really worked: the Calabrian soppressata and the Reblochon cheese. These really complemented each other because they were vitally different. The soppressata sizzled on the tongue upon first being eaten before disappearing to leave a warm melty texture and a taste like the nduja. The Reblochon cheese had a rich smell like a slightly milder Rachlette with a a springy texture. The interesting thing was how the flavour changed with the rind; on the whole it was not too dissimilar to Cambozola.

Then there was the rillette which was a mix between pate and the ragout filling of a Dutch kroket in that it was smooth and spreadable but also contained something akin to pulled pork.  This made for an interesting texture difference when eaten and, somehow, did not taste as fatty as I would expected.

Progress: 242/500

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