The dark, ugly, sickening feeling in my stomache this morning is only because I have to go back to work this afternoon and not due to anything strange I may have eaten while away in Sicily.
Because everything we ate was amazing!
Lots of foods beginning with P – pasta, pizza, pesto, peppers, pomodori (Italian for tomatoes, I just needed another P).
Antipasti to die for – aubergines, courgettes, big fat grilled onions, huge black and green olives, cold ratatouille, marinated anchovies.
Wafer thin hams, mortadella, salami, spicy sausage.
Little ping pong balls of mozzarella, creamy goat’s cheese, high hard peppered blocks of local produce.
Then there was the fruit – gigantic chunks of bright red watermelon (none of your peely-wally pink stuff here) cantaloupe, pineapple, peaches, cherries.
I had watermelon for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was coming out of my ears after a week and I miss it dreadfully now. I had all of it coming out of my ears in fact and rolling over the top of my shrunken shorts too.
And I mustn’t forget the ‘gelati’ – lemon, strawberry, pistachio, mint with long shards of chocolate poking out of the small cups. With a choice of sauces to dribble over the top which hardened as soon as they touched the surface.
But the most mouthwatering moment was in a little trattoria in the centre of Syracuse.
It was very ordinary inside, with no frills or fuss. The walls were simply lined with shelves of wine bottles and coat hooks. The staff literally raced around the small dining area balancing five plates on one arm and three on the other. Huge platters of pasta passed by every thirty seconds.
And there we ate like real Sicilians. We were no longer tourists but just a group of normal people eating lunch as if it were something we did every day of our lives.
Our delicious Italian lives.