Sunday, March 20, 2011

New friends

All the Sicilians we’ve chatted with so far have been incredibly friendly, generous and welcoming. None more so than the family who owns “Dolce Ricordi”, one of the small Pasticcerias in Ribera. We spotted it down a small side street, and hoped it might be a good place to pick up some Cannoli for our afternoon coffee back at the house. We ended up picking up much more than just Cannoli. We stepped into the tiny pastry and coffee shop, and were greeted by a young woman standing behind their pride and joy: a display case of innumerable small cakes, pastries and biscuits.

The smell was heavenly, like grandma’s kitchen after she’s just pulled a lemon cake out of the oven. We asked if they had any Cannoli and they said they could make us a fresh batch. While we were waiting for our Cannoli to be prepared in the kitchen, the young lady insisted that we try some of their other treats. If Ribera is famous for its oranges, then this Pasticceria should be famous for what it does with those oranges. Every mouthful contained some delicious combinations of oranges, nuts, ricotta, vanilla cream and pastry. By the time our Cannoli were ready we had been given three or four different treats to try, all mouth watering. They insisted that we only pay for the Cannoli, we insisted that we pay for everything that we’d eaten. They won the discussion, and some new customers.

We returned to “Dolce Ricordi” a few days later to have a coffee. We discovered that it’s run by three generations of women from the same family. The women run the shop, while their husbands do the baking. This time it came as no surprise that they didn’t allow us to pay for all the pastries they served up with our coffees, but it did come as a surprise when they invited us to join them as their guests at the feast of San Giuseppe (St. Joseph) the day after. We gladly accepted their kind invitation.

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