Ever since ancient times, Sicily’s reputation has been wrapped in an exotic and mysterious mythology. Odysseus blinded the cyclops there. Scylla and Charybdis each captured their share of ships and sailors. And it’s played sanctuary to contemporary dragons like the mafia. The three caped nymphs—and later, kings—shaped the triangular island with the precious stones and herbs that they had collected from all over the world; an origin myth that’s proven more prophetic than historic.
The small island in the middle of the Mediterranean served as the staging ground for centuries-long successions of empires and colonialism. Its arabic occupation left behind the first recipes for what we know today as gelato. The Greeks feared it while the Romans conquered it. The Spanish rebuilt the island’s cities in heightened baroque style after a devastating earthquake in 1693. The English bottled marsala. And the list goes on.
Curiously, in spite of such a blended past, the core culture of the people endures to this day. Sicily retains its own unique colloquial language now recognized by Unesco as part of the world’s protected heritage. Ancient traditions echo back to us through the festivals and lifestyles of the modern people. Where other lands bend and conform to the times and people, Sicily somehow quietly retains its own unique personality as a place that welcomes the best of the world, isolates its borrowed treasures, and perfects them in a way that’s closely reliant on the land and the people.
This month we’re featuring a special menu that explores the culinary heritage of Italy’s most famous island. Check back soon for updates to the events page for news about what we’ll be featuring on our menu, chef’s table, wine tasting, and language classes.