"There is something more in everything, you do not want to or cannot see it", said Luigi Pirandello, one of the greatest Italian playwrights of Sicilian origin. And Sicily is the land that contains this "something more" to the greatest extent. Pirandello tried to reveal this mystery, seeking to give a glimpse of the nature of that "extra", which however is destined to always remain partially hidden here.
Sicily is the Mediterranean soul: a product of many different spirits and races, in its various faces it appears strange, absurd, dangerous, incomprehensible, noble and vulgar, good and bad; it is all or nothing. Its cities resound in the disorder of paradoxes, in the harmonious and warm expressions and coup de théâtre of its literature. And warm and harmonious are its wines and flavours. Simple and made according to the rule, the dishes at the base of the thirty-three protected products are a tribute to Mediterranean-ness.
The rural soul of the region is the same as that which framed the bitter and awful love affairs in the stories of Verga, but it is also the pathological one of "Viceré" (Viceroy) by De Roberto, the later one of the "ingravidabalconi" by Brancati and that hard and ruthless one of Leonardo Sciascia. But also outside the homologation of diversity "made of caps at any cost".
Sicily is silence still in its shadows, the slippery secrecy of the Bellini melodies that are all the rage at the Metropolitan and New York City Hall. And to one of the greatest works of this Sicilian musician the inhabitants of Catania have dedicated a daily savourable monument, "pennette alla norma", a dish of a rough flavour based on baked aubergines, tomatoes and ricotta cheese, or, as an alternative Pecorino siciliano, one of the 7 local Pdo products (the other partially hard cheese is Ragusano). Amongst the other Pdos are three esteemed oils, Monti Iblei, Valli Trapanesi and Val di Mazara, and the Nocellara del Belice table olives. Cities and fields of the "burning altars", also chiefly honoured by two Pgi products: the red oranges of Sicily and the capers of Pantelleria.
And it is in the toponomy of the wines that the geography of the island told by the Sicilian writers runs through the mind. The Salina Prince, or the "Gattopardo" (Leopard) by Tomasi di Lampedusa, reminds us of the typical geographic indication wine of the same name, a trademark which another 6 regional wines bear (Sicilia, Salemi, Camarro, Colli Ericini, Fontanarossa di Cerda and Valle Belice). And "the wine coloured sea" of Leonardo Sciascia recalls the pungent violet. The weft of the Sicilian lands is made of these products, heritage of memory and good taste. Of the Prince (Tomasi di Lampedusa) one recalls that it is Sicily that does not want to change, of Sciascia, the irrimediability of the island. It is so - Pirandello pardon us - if you like it.