Sicilians don’t stoop to modesty. Yesterday we had ‘the world’s best ice cream’ at Dolceria Costanzo in Noto. An extraordinary mix of creamy deliciousness and nuanced flavors (my favorite was mandorla made with sweet local almonds). Earlier in the day we had ‘the world’s best sandwich’ at Caseificio Borderi in Syracusa. We queued for an hour to get one. The sandwiches are stacked like skyscrapers with 5 different cheeses, layers of different cooked and cured meats and a salad bowl of lettuce, tomatoes, olives, eggplant, mushrooms and other vegetables. But the result was a cacophony of flavors, like someone had just cleaned out the fridge.
Noto stole my heart; not just the ice cream (Cafe Sicilia, just a block from Dolceria Costanzo also claims to have the ‘world’s best ice-cream’), but also the baroque old town (a world heritage site) and Ristorante Manna, a place so exquisitely designed that even the bathrooms make you swoon and the staff are so genuinely kind and the chef so generous you feel like you have stepped into Babette’s Feast.