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On a recent trip to Palermo, we thought that we would try and sneak away for a couple of days to get away from the crowds, the noise, the horrible traffic, and see some historical sights. We had not visited the countryside in many years. On this particular day, we drove from Palermo, to the region of Trapani (where Vincenzo, my husband's Father was raised), to visit Segesta where there is a magnificent 5th century BC Doric temple. Although it was never completed (it has always been roofless) it is one of the best-preserved examples of a Greek temple.
As we made our way up the incredible winding road, from sea level to Segesta, we encountered a sheep herder moving his flock of sheep from one pasture to another. This... was quite exciting for this city girl, who never gets to see sheep running in any pasture. I am extremely fond of these little fellows, since they are very important in the Food culture of Sicily, and Italy for that matter. I'm talking about Sicilian Ricotta cheese!!!!! Ricotta! Pure, creamy, as fresh as it can get ricotta cheese, produced in this region, is like no other ricotta cheese in the world. In my opinion, it is better than ice cream! It's better than most things! It's just quite extraordinary! It's uses in Sicilian cooking are exponential, from savory to sweets, ricotta is used as a main ingredient across the board. In small brioche with ricotta and ham, to mini cassata cakes, with sweet creamy ricotta filling... it's alljust pure heaven!

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