My love for Sicily and city of Siracusa hasn’t waned. Visiting her is like slipping on my well-worn leather trench coat. Crunchy sea air, dark coffee fumes, baking buttery maritozzo and memories wash over me. I walk through the Ortigia market talking to the fish vendors and Grandpa Sebastiano comes to mind. He was a fisherman from Augusta, Sicily and then from Boston when they immigrated. Grandma Maria was the cook. She made simple and fresh dishes. The memories, sheer beauty, history, delicious dishes and joyful feelings keep me coming back to Siracusa as does Bar del Ponte Cristina.At Bar del Ponte Cristina, the baristas pull luscious, aromatic cappuccinos, caffès and caffè lattes. Trays of freshly baked cornetti, simple and chocolate filled brioche, bombe fritte (donuts), and sfgolie alla ricotta (fried pockets filled with ricotta cheese) fill the glass shelves. The maritozzo con uvetta is my favorite. The boat shaped pastry is made with sweet brioche dough speckled with raisins and lightly topped with sugar crystals. Maritozzo originated in Roman where raisin, pine nut and candied fruit studded maritozzi quaresimali were served during the Lent. In Rome today, plain maritozzo sliced open and filled with whipped sweetened cream are more common. I prefer the Sicilian version served alongside a cappuccino while sitting at an outdoor table looking at the Temple of Apollo and listening to Sicilian chatter. Buon colazione!
Bar del Ponte Cristina
Piazza Pancali 22