There are just a few hours until my 3rd consecutive trip with GoSicily to the USA and the emotion – I won’t deny – is always the same.
When I started to carry on my project linked to experiential tourism from Favara, I didn’t know how far it would take me ~ but I have always believed in it and I’ve always done it to the best of my ability and potential. Today, I am here, ready to close the suitcase and spend an intense and certainly ~ an emotion filled month.
Also, in recent days, several newspapers have talked about my imminent departure and I take advantage of it to thank individually – all the journalists and bloggers who gave ‘air time’ to my trip as an opportunity to enhance and spread the Sicilian culture in America.
But obviously- it does not end here: our journey together has just begun.
Each week, I will keep you updated on the meetings that we will have, the dishes we will cook together and the experiences I will have in the States! The journalist Angela Amoroso will be telling this experiential story of mine.
There is always a lot of adrenaline in the hours preceding a long journey and also in the weeks and months too. This is because of the many preparations and the anticipation of all the people I will have the opportunity to meet and know, as well as for all the beautiful things that we will be able to do together. What makes me the most proud is the possibility to tell, through the dishes of our tradition- my land and my Sicily – to people who loved it despite not knowing it well or never having been there.
I like to tell the stories of small producers and the enhanced niche excellence. All of this allows me to become almost a sort of link between our Sicily with all that is beautiful and the American citizens who are truly very curious and enthusiastic to know and are excited to meet ~ a bridge capable of creating connections, synergy and job opportunities to extend the involvement of more people.
The departure is expected for tomorrow, and return in Sicily the 17th February. The path of this year will be varied and there will be different states and several American cities: from Boston to New York to cross Brooklyn, Manhattan, New Jersey, Dallas, Long Island, New Orleans and many others. In each of these places I will try to bring a little piece of beautiful Sicily , good and appetizing, to find, to know, to taste.
In this 2020 transoceanic crossing I will be able to count on the collaboration of 2 Sicilian partners who have decided to join the GoSicily project: the producers of oil- Val Paradiso and Molino Riggi, both excellent in each of their sectors. Also, thanks to their support- this year I decided to enrich the moments that will allow my American friends to have basic training on extra-virgin olive oil and ancient Sicilian grains. In fact we will compare a vintage oil with a rancid oil to understand the differences and know how to distinguish a good product from a bad product,. This way, they too will recognize the differences and therefore choose quality product also in America.
I will do the same things with the flours ~ we will compare the flours with those obtained from ancient Sicilian grains, it is more and more important today to make them known and valued in the USA.
Obviously there will be cooking lessons with dishes that represent our Sicilian gastronomic culture: I am ready to prepare with my students many dishes from first course with cavatelli alla norma or broccoli, the second course with chicken cacciatore or Lampedusian swordfish; the dessert – with almond biancomangiare , and le sfigni, and nougat – and then also the different classics such as Orange salad and omelet with bread, caponata and the inevitable aranchini, (rice ball).
Our American friends will knead and create the dishes that we will eat. There is no better way to learn than putting your hands directly into the dough, smelling the smells, touching the raw materials to perceive the consistencies, observing how the different ingredients mix together, and finally tasting the fruit of their experience, seeing them satisfied and smiling. There is no more beautiful thing, and that is what pushes me to do this job- to know that I have sent them a part of my great passion and to know that many of them will come to reciprocate the sight and get to know our wonders up close !
Now everything is really ready, the suitcases are closed. a greeting to my Sicily and all of you ~ but we will hear from each other very soon!
Bye Bye my friends!
(Translated Italian to English by Lisa Lee Cardo 15 January 2020)