Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Syracuse, Italy - Farmer's Market

Welcome back to our mini series on Sicily! For those of you who are unaware, my family and I visited our ancestral home of Sicily this summer. We decided to chronicle our trip and turn it into a series of blog posts. Check out our first Sicilian blog post here. This time, we are focusing on the town of Syracuse ( aka Siracusa in southwestern Sicily). 

Look at the beautiful view of the ocean!
Syracuse is an ancient city rich with culture and beauty. Even after time has eroded the antiquated town, the townspeople still hold rituals and traditions practiced long ago. An example of an ancient traditions still expressed today can be illustrated by Syracuse's fresh daily market. Every day, locals come in the morning to purchase items to indulge upon later that day. Let's take a look at some of the produce:

Our tour guide showing all the different spices to my grandfather.

Considering that Syracuse is geographically situated on the water, it should be no surprise that there's a huge seafood industry. Vendors sell all types of fish ranging from tuna and swordfish (ample amounts of swordfish can be seen above) .

Charles observing workers sorting out sea urchins.

Sicilians know that herbs and spices are just as important as the entree itself, so Sicilians use a wide variety of herbs and spices in their cooking.

There can't be an Italian market without tomatoes. Essentially, Italians use tomatoes for everything ranging from pasta to pizza.

Zucca is a unique Italian fruit, also known as Italian squash. For cooking, it is usually combined with zest, cardamom seeds and other curative herbs. These savory, sweet, and fresh fruits are a must try on any Sicilian vacation. Who knows, you might like these better than regular squash.

Sicily has a very mild Mediterranean climate that allows an eclectic group of fruits and vegetation to thrive (as pictured above). Plus, the farmers here don't use pesticides or preservatives on their crops, just as nature intended it to be. 

Do you love watermelon? Well look no further because Sicily has just about the juiciest and most succulent watermelon there can be. By saying that Sicily has great watermelon, I would be selling myself short.

 I could go on and on about how I was amazed by all the wonders that the city has to offer, but words cannot completely describe my time in Syracuse. My recommendation, go to Syracuse and experience the same sense of elation that I once felt. In case any of you are considering my recommendation, my family and I stayed at the Grand Hotel Ortiga (which gorgeously overlooks the ocean). I would love to hear your stories and anecdotes from the ancient city in the comments section. In the meantime, arrivederci Syracuse, it was a pleasure.

-Thomas Regnante

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