A Day of Sweets

7 Apr

Please note, the name of this column is not “A Sweet Day” but “A Day of Sweets” which it was indeed in the nearby town of Modica.

We planned to spend our time between coming and going at two museums, two churches, a little panini shop and buying the “best” cannolis in southern Sicily all located on Corso Umberto I, the main street of Modica. We overdid on both the sweets and the sights. We began our walk about 10 a.m. with a gigantic gelato cone of nicciola (hazelnut.)

They young Sicilian woman who served me got a big kick out of my reaction when she handed me the cone. She thoughtfully selected the architecturally reinforced double-decker cone to handle the significant weight of the gelato. Dana and I made quick work of our first shot of sugar. And with heightened heart rate strode off to the Museum of Chocolate.

Map of Italy in solid chocolate.

Upon arrival we were greeted by a handsome Sicilian who sold us tickets and gave us small solid cups of Modica chocolate. This kind of chocolate for which Modica is known is composed of a serious amount of sugar blended into bitter chocolate until a sugary paste is formed, worked and molded into bite-sized pieces or, in this museum, sculptures. The Museum was filled with 2-to-3 foot solid chocolate sculptures of heads, torsos, animals, saints and architectural details as well as a complete chocolate map of Italy.

One figure reminded us of some of the Mayan sculptures we saw in our time in Merida, Mexico.

After eating three pieces of chocolate each we toured the museum then toddled down the stairs to visit a vaunted cannoli, torrone and chocolate shop down the street. I am pleased to say we were constrained and purchased only two beautiful cannolis from the man who made them as we waited. These he wrapped beautifully for us to take home and eat later.

Marzipan and fancy cakes including tiramisu were also available in the vintage display cases. Restraint reined.

By now we were woozy with sugar intake and decided to visit the archaeology museum next door. That was the fastest trip we have every made through an archaeology museum in any country we have ever visited!

At this point we decided we needed to balance out the sugar flooding our bloodstreams so we went to lunch. “Momo” is a terrific panini shop with a patient waiter who encouraged our meager Italian. We sat in a little piazza and ordered two glasses of red wine from nearby Avola, “Noto d’Avola” wine, our favorite and fortuitously inexpensive.

We began with tasty thin bread dipped in olive oil to share with our wine, then moved on to Dana’s panini of donkey mozzarella, Sicilian ham, sun-dried tomatoes and rocket. My salad was fresh tuna in oil, donkey mozzarella and tiny Pachino tomatoes over crunchy lettuce. Deelish!

Calmer now with food and wine happily consumed we proceeded to the bus back to Noto. I napped on the ride home. But woke at one point to the sight of a limitless field of brilliant yellow oilseed rape in full bloom…a memorable trip to Modica.


2 Responses to “A Day of Sweets”

  1. Derek April 7, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

    By the time you two got to the Archeological Museum
    I was woozy with your sugar and caffeine intake 😊

    • Jill April 7, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

      I thought about that as I was writing in it. Thankfully the wine comes next.

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