Today I'm a little homesick, and for someone from Sicily, missing home means missing its wonderful desserts.

Buckle up for a wondrous thread of Sicilian pastries: 1/
Naturally, I *must* start with the king of Sicilian pastry: cannolo. Filled with ricotta cream and topped with Bronte pistachio, candied fruit, or chocolate chips, cannoli come in different sizes and are a staple of Sicilian pasticcerie. 2/
If cannolo is the king of Sicilian pastry, cassata is the absolute queen. Based on ricotta cream, cassata is topped by a layer of marzipan, glazed, and then decorated with a colored choreography of candied fruit, for an average of a trillion calories per slice. 3/
In Catania, tiny breast-shaped cassate are prepared for the feast of the city's patron saint, St. Agatha, whose breasts were mutilated before being killed. A bit gross, but that's Catholicism for ya. They're delicious.
My favorite cassate, though, are those made in eastern Sicily (Siracusa-Ragusa): baked ricotta cakes on a base of puff pastry and a dash of cinnamon. They look different in every town.
Sicilian desserts retained strong Islamic influences. This is croccante di mandorle, a very basic torrone of almonds dipped in honey caramel. You can find variants of this recipe all over the eastern Mediterranean. 5/
Another staple of Sicilian pasticcerie? Almond pastries. Paste di mandorla, topped by an almond or a candied cherry, half-dipped in chocolate, in all sorts of shapes. 6/
I talked about breast-shaped cassate, but Catholic Sicilian desserts are a whole universe of its own. We've got an entire dessert menu for All Souls' Day. These are rame di Napoli, again from Catania. Chocolate cookies glazed with chocolate cream, sprinkled with pistachio. 7/
In my hometown, near Siracusa, on All Souls' Day we also eat... bones. These are ossa dei morti (bones of the dead), a super-hard cookie that has chipped many a kid's tooth. 8/
And if you're missing summer already, let me tell you a secret: in Sicily, nobody eats gelato. Instead, we have granita, a handmade frozen dessert very similar to sorbet. My favorite flavor is the one you can't find anywhere but in Sicily: black mulberry granita. 9/
We talked about granita, but we need to talk about its faithful companion: brioche. You can't have granita without brioche, period. Sicilian brioche (brioche col tuppo) has a very distinctive shape. (It appears that we're obsessed with a certain part of the female anatomy.) 10/
The most sinful combo is a brioche sandwich filled with whipped cream and gelato. With a dessert like this, things are just *bound* to get messy. But it's worth it. At least, that's what you tell your sore jaw after the deed. 11/
Sicily also has a whole tradition of semi-frozen cream cakes (we call them semifreddi) that are so aesthetically pleasing it almost hurts to slice them. These are all semifreddi from one of the oldest pasticcerie in Catania, @pasticcer_savia. 12/
The greatest semifreddo cake to have ever been created is called torta setteveli. Seven different layers of chocolate, with different flavors and textures. A slice of this cake is a mystical experience that will make you rethink your notion of "chocolate" 13/
Speaking of chocolate, did you know that there's a town in Sicily that has a unique cold-process recipe for chocolate bars (likely an Aztec recipe imported in Sicily by the Spaniards)? Meet cioccolato di Modica. Modican hot chili chocolate bars are to die for. 14/
Modica is also known for these tiny ravioli-shaped pastries called mpanatigghi, which are filled with chocolate (yes), nuts (okay), and ground meat (wut?). Another gift from the sixteenth-century Spaniard domination. 15/
I could go on forever, folks, but I'll wrap up with my last boob-shaped entry: iris. Iris(es?) can be baked (left) or fried (right) & can be filled with chocolate cream, custard, you name it. In undergrad, I would treat myself with a nutella-filled iris after an exam. 15/15

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More from @lauraingalli

23 Aug
UNPOPULAR OPINION. 99% of my feed is lashing out at this post, but hear me out. The ACTUAL paper is presented as an attempt to replicate known concepts with large-scale quantitative methods. Indeed, the paper addresses its limitations vs. historical linguistics research! 1/8
The article does not claim Groundbreaking Novelty Whoa This Has Never Been Done Before(TM). The tweet and the @physorg_com article do. @kennysmithed here explains it perfectly. 2/8

What went wrong? @physorg_com should not have claimed that this is the "first large-scale, data-driven study" in semantic alignment. It is the first APPLICATION of #MachineLearning to this field. Is it supremely cool? YES. Is it groundbreaking? NO. 3/8
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