Thursday, July 27, 2006

La Scuderia – Exquisite Dining in Palermo

Traditional Sicilian cuisine is an oxymoron. Not that Sicily does not have marvelous antique recipes or culture simply that traditional Sicilian cuisine would mean that the recipes developed over time in a rather uniform way across the Island. This is not Sicily’s history. Sicily has been conquered and dominated by every major power over the annals of time. Sicily sits out in the Mediterranean, right in the middle of shipping lanes, it is difficult to protect because it is separated from the Italian peninsula and it close to Africa, Greece, Italy and Portugal.

Although a desired prize among conquerors it also has proved extremely difficult to dominate. Those who arrived in Messina, Catania, Ragusa, Enna or Siracusa most often never made it across the mountains, plains or treacherous inland areas to be able to control the island. As the conquerors came and left a bit of their culture and their food remained being integrated over time into local customs. You could say that Sicilian cooking is the only true International Novel Cuisine.

Palermo is home to one of our favorite restaurants, la Scuderia, and they specialize in Sicilian, International Cuisine. The basics of Italian cooking with fresh vegetables, fish, meats and cheeses, combined with a flair of cumin, curry or some other international spice. This is not contemporary cuisine, the recipes are several hundred years old. The menu’ will change over the year and even during the week. The chefs choose the menu’ based on what is good and fresh at the local market, the ingredients are always top shelf.

The menu will usually include grilled vegetables, eggplant wraps, risotto with fish, veal, and swordfish. They also serve a local version of the cheese caciocavalo di Palermo, known as cascacavallu di Godrano. The desserts of Palermo are heavenly and La Scuderia presents a formidable selection worthy of a meal in their own right. The staff is neatly dressed and polite with true Sicilian manners. They are knowledgeable about their foods and their wines. This is a more expensive restaurant but worth the extra expense. Call ahead for reservations, you will need them.

La Scuderia
Viale del Fante, 9
Tel. 091/520323


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Blogger Dianne said...

Sicily is truly the most beuatifull place I've ever visited. The beauty though to me, was as much in the people though as the place. I was there for 24 hours, mainly Taormina and Mt Etna ... but long to return there! ... and I will!


11:15 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

The Sicilians are as complex as the land they live on. It is a place worth visiting or re-visiting. Catania and the surrounding area is extremely interesting. Hopefully we will see you there again.

12:44 PM

Blogger Jose said...

Every time I visit your blog I wind up getting hungry. Some of your posts are just mouth watering, I love Italian food but the dishes that see on your site are nothing like what we find here in local Italian restaurants.

I cannot afford to travel but if I could Italy would be top of my list, besides Italian sounds so much like Spanish.

6:48 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Jose That is a great compliment, thank you!

I understand the cost of travel, I also think that the current weakness of the dollar is making it harder to afford, but over time things will turn around. Until that time try some of the dishes at home. These are traditional recipes, usually very easy with a little calm, and are a great opportunity to enjoy friend's company while you cook.

Maybe the next time Raffaella and I come to Phoenix we'll get together for dinner.

11:24 AM


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