OF SICILY GELATO SUMMIT
If you close your eyes and start thinking about Sicily, the first image that comes to your mind is Agrigento, in mid-February at the end of the short Sicilian winter, the white blossoming of almond trees that announce the return of spring in the Valley of the Temples. It's difficult not to associate the image of Sicily with almonds, among the most common dried fruits in the world, which have always been much appreciated and consumed in many different variations. Widespread for a long time in Italy, they are native to Central Asia. Their cultivation began already in the first part of the Bronze Age, between 3000 and 2000 BC, and it is curious to know that some fruits were also found in the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt, while it is due to the Arabs its spread in the Mediterranean area and especially in Sicily. The sweet almonds, unmistakably crunchy, are a real health panacea. Amazing reserve of nutritional properties, they contain excellent amounts of saturated fats, the famous and indispensable Omega 3, proteins and vegetable fibers, mineral salts and vitamins, in particular vitamin E and B2. Being a fruit of millenary cultivation, almonds have always been an essential ingredient in the kitchen, especially in pastry making. Literary texts and historical chronicles testify that in all the countries of the Mediterranean basin there were widespread preparations (mainly confectionery) that saw it combined with honey, milk, fresh or dried fruit. It is a fundamental component of many sweets because it adds taste, crunchiness and gives the final touch of decoration. It can be present in various forms - whole or chopped, pralined or reduced to powder - but it is in any case indispensable. In Sicily they give life to delicious and tasty recipes such as the first ones based on almond and cherry tomato pesto, fried eggplants and almonds, different types of desserts including the famous almond paste cookies, created in the silence of convents. The push to an ever-increasing consumption - also in the sports field - has determined the choice of many farmers under 40 to start the production of almonds restoring the facilities of their grandparents or parents, but it is the Made in Sicily that rewards.