Saturday, 16 September 2017

Appeeling Ideas From Sicily

Sicily is very 'on trend' right now - Inspector Montelbano has been back on TV on a Saturday night [sadly it was a very brief series, only 4 episodes] and no end of newspapers and magazines have featured arancini recipes lately.
It is almost a year ago that Bob and I had our wonderful holiday on this beautiful island- and we have often talked since about perhaps making another visit one day.

Our San Pellegrino drinks on Tuesday were flavoured with Sicilian oranges. Sicily produces hundreds of thousands of tonnes of citrus fruits every year - lemons, oranges, blood oranges... There are groves of fruit trees nestling at the base of Mount Etna - and their crops go around the world, as fruits, but mostly the fruit is juiced before it leaves the island.
But that juicing leaves huge amounts of waste - tonnes and tonnes of peel and pith.
For years, local farmers have made use of some of it as animal feed or fertiliser - but most of the waste, the rind and seeds known as 'pastazzo' used to be just discarded. I was thrilled to discover that in recent years, enterprising people have come up with some brilliant - and very diverse -ideas for using this peel. 
For instance "Orange Fiber" is a company which transforms the cellulose from the peel into a beautiful silky fibre. Salvatore Ferragamo, the fashion house has used the fabric to make high end scarves and other garments
The Coca Cola Corporation has financed a plant which converts pastazzo into biogas- a useful fuel which provides energy all across the island.
Some scientists at the University of Catania have developed a way of turning the pastazzo into flour. It is fat-free and healthy, and the local bakers in Catania have been very pleased at the results obtained when used in cooking and breadmaking. It is also very cheap to produce.
I think it is wonderfully inventive, and very eco-friendly, that all these products are being created from what would otherwise be waste. 
These sunny Sicilian fruits give fuel, flour, and fashion - as well as all that delicious juice!
Learning all this makes me feel I really do want to go back to the island again...


  1. That's pretty amazing! Good for them, being creative and planet-friendly. I would also love to travel to Sicily, or really any island in the Med. Sea.

  2. I recently came across this article. You may find interesting


  3. That's a great article Fishcake, thanks for sharing it. But how sad that some people opposed such a brilliant eco-friendly scheme.

  4. That makes me SO happy to read this!!!!x


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