Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pasticceria Maria Grammatico!...

I was google-ing Pasticceria Maria Grammatico for the address and to freshen up my memory of the 5 diff pastries I had there. Surprise surprise! They have a website (an oddity for many Italian businesses)....AND apparenty Maria Grammatico had released her own biography a while back called Bitter Almonds/Mandorle Amare.

Long story short--born 1940, after the war was sent to orphanage ~11, taught by nuns how to make Sicilian sweets to sell in town, left convent @ 20 to open her own stuffs. I didn't see Maria @ the shop when we were there, just some youngin'.

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This is what most of Erice looked like--narrow cobblestoned alleyways up and down some crazy hills and nooks and winding and...super medieval. Made me wanna gallop on a horse!! and maybe knock over some plebeian dragging a cart of dirty produce! :) more on this later...
A random purchase was a sfoglia with nutella--ur general phylo dough/puff pastry w. chocolate hazelnut-y goodness! Plus we hadn't really eaten brunch yet :P So...i figured I wanted some such a healthy form! ;) didn't want to ruin my appetite for late lunch :P
I wanted to get the 12 or 24 pack of assorted Sicilian sweets but 1--this sh*t is EXTREMELY almost intolerably sweet if ingested in such volume. That and I didn't wanna hafta carry it all back and have it disintegrate on the train ride back to Balestrate! That up there would be the Paradiso cake, the Sospiri, pignola/pine nut almond cake, and pistacchio...marzipan? thingie. Felt like mochi!

There was this...specialty to the region...marzipan with jello and...almond cake i think? We weren't big fans of any major ingredient in there so...we effed it and skipped out. And sat on some mini-porch in the alley by the Cyclopean walls and ate away :) I'm reading all this stuff about how the walls, the convents, church, and castles are dated 1600, 800 B.C. CRAAAAAZY! ^_^

A little bit about the town of Erice--TEENY TINY as HELL. I'd say maybe as big as...what comprises the Lower East Side or maybe....tinier? IT IS TEENY!! But it is the awesomest speck of a town entirely unperturbed by development and commercial tourism. Must post scenic pics later...giant archive...tired...yar! :)

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