Sicilians build things like they will live forever and eat like they will die tomorrow – PlatoEditorial
Sicilian’s eat like they will die tomorrow
The famous philosopher Plato once said that “Sicilians build things like they will live forever and eat like they will die tomorrow”, for those who know the Sicilian culture our food is not only about giving us nutrients on a day to day basis but it’s a part of our identity. Food and eating is a part of our culture, history and bringing people together through sharing and passing on a piece of history to the next generation.
There’s a misconception that we eat at least 3 courses everyday for our main meal but that isn’t the case, usually on a Sunday we do this but day to day we keep things simple and easy.
So what does it means to eat like we will die tomorrow?
For us Strazzanti’s, eating a meal is a precious time during our day, a time to look after ourselves and a social opportunity to share with friends and family. It’s a moment to appreciate our time and the meal we have in front of us, whilst not overindulging with huge amounts of food but instead choosing to indulge in eating the best quality produce available to us from the land. We keep ingredients local and seasonal doing as little to them as possible and enhancing our dishes with our staples like superior quality herbs and spices whether it be locally grown oregano, chilli, honey or wild fennel seeds.
The Sicilian way of eating
Living in the UK of course brought limits to our grandparents and family being able to eat in the Sicilian way like they were used to when living back in Sicily, as buying locally grown and fresh seasonal produce was not as accessible to them as it is now. We also didn’t have the specialist ingredients we would use in our everyday cooking available on our doorstep, so, we would have to stock up on our essentials and staples on every trip we took back home or rely on parcels our relatives would send to us from Naples and Sicily to the UK. Some people bring back souvenirs from their holidays but we brought back kilos of capuliatu, extra virgin olive oil, oregano (the real stuff) and pecorino cheese.
The Sicilian way of cooking taught us the simplicity of eating well but with maximum flavour. The smallest things can enhance your dishes and add additional health benefits to your diet too. We are no qualified experts but the science shows that the Mediterranean way of eating helps in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and overall mortality.
So how can you enhance your dishes the Sicilian way
Here are some simple tips we use in our daily cooking to give maximum flavour to our dishes, whilst keeping it clean and adding extra health benefits where we can.
The best quality extra virgin olive oil (Evoo)
It’s worth spending a bit more on your bottles for a superior quality cold pressed olive oil. Choose the olive variety you prefer as this will naturally affect the end taste of the olive oil and therefore your dishes. Our table Evoo is produced with 100% Moresca olives, we chose this to sit on our dining table as it’s not too spicy at the back of the throat and its fresh grassy tomato notes enhance flavours rather than covering them up!
We recently launched our Sicilian infused extra virgin olive oils too which are produced close to the towns where our Nonni and dad were born and raised. The oils are infused with the natural flavours of Sicily. From Sicilian chilli to lemon these Evoo’s are the perfect way to lift any vegetable from bland to something with great flavour as well as adding extra healthy nutrients to your dish. Read more about the health benefits of Evoo here.
Capuliatu or capuliato is a minced intensely sun dried tomato
It is usually kept dry or soaked in new season extra virgin oil, basil and chilli flakes and used as a condiment in Sicilian cuisine to season bread (Pane Cunzatu), lift salads (Fennel & Orange Salad) and add depth to any dish with its natural saltiness and deep flavour. We love ours simply sprinkled over broccoli which has been lightly boiled and then sautéed with fresh garlic, drizzled with chilli oil and seasoned with the capuliatu, you can discover our recipe for this dish here.