Discover the Authentic Taste of Sicily with Barbara: Tales, Recipes and Culinary Secrets

In the beating heart of Sicily, among the picturesque towns of Ragusa, Modica, Scicli, Ispica and Santa Croce Camerina, a culinary world stands out that enchants the senses and evokes the enchantment of this art. An endless culinary journey awaits those who venture into this land, and no one knows this better than Barbara Conti, a Sicilian woman with a fervent passion for cooking.

Barbara is a real estate agent by profession, food blogger by vocation, but it is in cooking that she finds her true calling. Her blog,“Fantasy in the Kitchen,” is a haven for food lovers, where she shares recipes, compelling stories and culinary traditions passed down through the ages. Initially conceived as a simple recipe diary, Barbara’s blog has turned into a treasure trove of culinary information, enriched with nostalgic tales and valuable advice.

Barbara’s passion for Sicilian cuisine goes beyond the mere preparation of dishes; it is a true “cibosofia,” a philosophy that weaves together food, history, culture and tradition. Through her online engagement and participation in local food events, Barbara fervently promotes the richness and authenticity of Sicilian cuisine.

Among the streets of Scicli, Barbara recommends savoring the typical local products, from the bean “cosaruciaru”, named for its sweetness, to the “cucciddatu scaniatu,” a baked product with cheese and black pepper, to ricotta ravioli with sauce linked to the legend of St. William Cuffitiedda, to the “Turk’s Head,” the dessert linked to the Feast of Our Lady of the Militia. Unmissable chocolate from Modica with its special cold processing and “Mpnatigghie,” the crescent-shaped cookies filled with meat and chocolate that Sciascia called the Journey cookie. But it is also a must to taste Modicane scacce, different from Ragusan scacce, which together with Pastieri, Easter specialties, are the main rotisserie product of Modica. In Ispica in addition to the scaccia, which is called “votavota“, the kitchen offers excellent fresh fish dishes, fresh homemade pasta baked in a wood-burning oven, cannoli, granita with briosche and the famous Carrots of Ispica along with Sesame, with which nougat is made, which is called “Cubbaita.” In Santa Croce Camerina, at least a once-in-a-lifetime visit is the Dinners of St. Joseph, in honor of the celebration of St. Joseph that are staged in March. They encapsulate a summary of traditional local dishes, one above all the “Principissedda co sucu fintu,” the first course of fresh pasta typical of St. Joseph’s Day and the famous “macallé” of ricotta or cream A Ragusa the ever-present scaccia Ragusana the scaccia with ricotta cheese and broad beans that are in season, the macco di fave that is sometimes served with chicory and Swiss chard, the cavati seasoned with pork sauce and ravioli that are the typical Sunday dishes, the sfoglio di ricotta and sausage typical Christmas dish and to finish ” u pani ri pasta rura.”

But Barbara does not stop there. In addition to her online activities, she engages in a series of projects that lead her deeper and deeper into the exploration of island cuisine. He collaborates with small businesses, shares his experiences through courses and workshops in schools, and continues to cultivate his passion together with the Iblei chefs as an active member of the Associazione Professionale Cuochi Italiani (APCI) and the Associazione Italiana Food Blogger (AIFB). Through these associations, he studies, tastes, cooks, writes, and shares ideas and knowledge, telling authentic and inspiring culinary stories.

These experiences have significantly expanded his professional and personal network in the world of cooking and food. Her tireless spirit and infectious passion make her a reference point for anyone who loves to discover the culinary secrets of Sicily.

Recently, Barbara has further expanded her reach by collaborating with trade magazines, companies and one school in particular. His projects, including one aimed at younger people on the theme of food, aim to tell and introduce the story of the territory and the rich heritage of Sicilian recipes, with an engaging and educational approach.

Before we leave we ask her: what if Barbara is a dish? “I could say that if I were a dish, I would be the pizza. Like pizza, I am versatile and adaptable, able to be enjoyed in many different ways. You can appreciate me each day and each time in a unique way, creating ever new and fulfilling culinary experiences“.

Fantasia in the Kitchen (giallozafferano.it)

St. Joseph’s Dinners in the Iblei: (giallozafferano.it)

The sweet bean of Scicli: the cosaruciaru | Fantasia in Cucina (giallozafferano.it)

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