Breakfast in Castelbuono

“Oh, man! I just GOTTA do this… granita with whipped cream, a brioche and gelato, two cassatine, and a crisp cannolo filled with sweetened, fresh ricotta ‘al momento’. All within the scheme of half an hour so that I can brag about it on a postcard.”

Obviously, sensible eating wasn’t going to be part of the game plan on this particular day in Sicily. Bless my husband for putting up with my wild ideas — I still get a kick in recalling “the breakfast proposal” on one very hot morning (90 degrees in the shade). This, in my mind, is la dolce vita.

Latte di mandorle (almond milk granita)

Brioche filled with gelato, sicilian cassatine

Where to find all this: Fiasconaro. This is a first-rate pastry shop famous for Easter and holiday goods. Located in the old center on piazza Margherita, it has a tempting assortment of granita choices but my favorite is gelso (mulberry). Do sit down in the square for service in a glass dish as shown instead of a plastic cup to go. Gelato selections for the icecream sandwich is a tougher call as there’s the option of selecting 2 flavors. Signora, sei sicura? Solo uno? Yes, yes, only one flavor (because I see there that the vanilla is speckled with vanilla beans!).

Bar Cammarata, a few stores down leading away from the piazza, is where you can indulge in these incredibly crisp and delicious cannoli that are filled with ricotta only after you place an order. The freshness of the ricotta is undeniable…it has a rough, almost curdled look even if it’s the lightest of textures when it hits your palate. I’ve tried miniature and larger ones from pastry shops/supermarket bakeries that taste like sugar, candied fruit and cream cheese. Bleh! I’ve heard that there are enormous-sized cannoli elsewhere in Sicily, but the medium ones at Bar Cammarata are generous enough for one. No citron, no finely chopped pistacchio or chocolate, not overly sweet — just a dusting of confectioner’s sugar that tickles your nostrils in a messy poof on the first mouthful.

Mini cassata cakes at Fiasconaro (one big bite and you’re done)

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