Mama Mia! Pasta Prices Rising

The price of gas ever-rising? Italians have taken it in stride, not letting it faze la dolce vita. But rising prices of pasta? Mamma mia, che casino! Pasta prices have risen more than 30% in the first half of this year, reports the Italian news agency ANSA, nearly the highest rise in any product in Italy, and second only to …

Tourist Calls Police Over 10-Euro Sandwich

10 euros for a panino? Believe it: A British tourist reported a bar in the Sicilian seaside village of Tusa to police after he was handed a bill for 30 euro for three sandwiches, reports Italian news agency ANSA. “We told the cashier there had been a mistake, but he said everything was correct and that we had to settle …

Italian Summer Treat: Pistachio Gelato

Pistachio gelato is the benchmark by which many gelaterie are judged. You can tell at a glance if an artificial base has been used, just by the color. If the gelato maker is using real pistachio nuts, the color will be almost drab green. If the bin flashes a neon green, keep walking. 1 cup (6 ounces) shelled pistachios, lightly …

Celiac Disease: The Italian Connection

Updated 2018.  It is amazing how a personal connection will suddenly get you to write about a topic you’ve been meaning to explore for at least a year. I hadn’t heard about Celiac Disease until about a year ago when I hired a personal organizer to come to my office and help me straighten things out. She brought her lunch …

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Sicilian Cooking Classes in Siracusa

This is a condensed excerpt from the March 2008 issue of Dream of Italy: A typical day for Fiorangela Piccione, a youthful-looking grandmother, begins with pastry baking for L’Approdo delle Sirene, her Siracusa bed and breakfast She dons running shoes to circle the island and then does an afternoon stint at her travel agency. Oh yes, Fiora also makes time …

Is Sicily Part of Your 2008 “Dream of Italy”?

Our friends at the wonderful online Italian food store DITALIA are taking their love of all things Italian on the road – to Sicily in May! Their 7-night tour focuses on the incredible foods of this island, while taking in the sights and sounds of cities and towns like Palermo, Ragusa, Modica, Agrigento and Erice. Participants will dine at some …

Inside The Slippery World of The Olive Oil Biz

creqqThe olive-oil industry may not be as “extra-virgin” as its oil is presumed to be. In fact, much of the oil isn’t even “virgin,” especially if it has been mixed with any less-expensive-to-produce oils such as that from sunflower seeds and some types of nuts. Over the past several decades, this has become quite a big issue in countries like …