I’ve yet to have my luggage inspected upon returning from Italy, but if it were to happen, they would find all sorts of edible goodies. Of course I’ve been known to throw in a new purse or a pair of two of shoes (after all who can resist leather in Italy?), but it’s the food items that I’m drawn to. Olive oil, rice, pasta, dried mushrooms, chocolate and jars of spreads are stuffed and crammed into my bag. I can’t wait to get in the kitchen and use them and yet, I often hold on to them for a while as I don’t want them to disappear from my pantry.
Although I discovered this little gem on our tour of the Mercato Centrale in Florence, it hails from Sicily. We were given a taste of this paste by one of the vendors in the market and while others in our group bought a few jars, I did not. After getting back to Lucca I kept thinking more and more about this buttery paste made from the famous pistachios of Bronte, not far from Mt. Etna on the island of Sicily. I quickly realized that I should have bought a jar and knew that when I returned to Florence at the end of my trip I would hit the Mercato Centrale and pick up a jar.
So that was last May and I finally broke down and opened the jar yesterday. I slathered a spoonful on a shortbread cookie that I had baked and after eating that, I just ate some more off the spoon! If you have a thing for pistachios, you will love this. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with the rest of it, but it reminds me of some of the best pistachio gelato that I’ve eaten in Italy. Now that I think of it, I think I’m going to toast some country bread and top it with this Sicilian treat.