Savoring Sicily: 2,000 Years of History in 100 Dishes with Francine Segan

Savoring Sicily: 2,000 Years of History in 100 Dishes with Francine Segan


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean and Italy’s largest region, bears fascinating traces in art, architecture, and food of the many civilizations that have conquered her. In this conversation, we’ll trace over 2,000 years of Sicilian history and the different civilizations that have influenced the flavors of this island’s iconic dishes like caponata, a sweet and sour eggplant appetizer, orange shaped rice balls, and pasta with sardines, wild fennel, raisins, and pine nuts.

Join food historian Francine Segan as she examines how a myriad of cultures including those of ancient Greece, ancient Rome, the Arab and Byzantine worlds, and Spain influenced the flavors of this island’s iconic dishes. Discover over 2,000 years of Sicilian history as we explore Nero's role in the origin of Sicily's famed sorbetto and how a few key ingredients introduced into the island centuries ago: citrus fruits, pistachios, almonds, saffron, capers have influenced myriad dishes.

Discover that Sicily was the first European port to receive sugar --an Arab introduction in the eighth century AD, which is one of the reasons there are so many wonderful Sicilian dessert inventions such as marzipan, cannoli, and granita. Learn why the town of Modica is famed for its chocolate, and its many unusual chocolate desserts like ‘Mpanatigghi—weird, but wonderful empanada-shaped chocolate meat pies. During the talk, we'll also highlight some of the most intriguing places to visit: Taormina, a lovely hilltop town on the east coast famed for its Greco-Roman theater; Piazza Amerina, the site of a palatial Roman villa with exceptional mosaics that depict life in ancient Sicily; Mount Etna, one of the world’s most active volcanoes and source of early frozen treats.

Led by an expert on culinary history, Francine Segan, this interactive seminar will explore the history of Sicily through its eclectic spread of dishes. Designed to amuse as well as inform curiosity and future travel, learners will come away with an increased appreciation of the culinary history of this intriguing island. Participants will receive a handout with delicious Sicilian specialties as well as a list of must-try dishes while in Sicily.

Francine Segan is a renowned food historian and James Beard-nominated author of six books. She is a regular on TV, appearing frequently on the Food Network, PBS, Discovery, and History Channels. Francine's articles have appeared in Saveur, Epicurious, Vogue, and Fine Cooking Magazine and she is an often-featured expert in newspapers including the Wall St Journal, USA Today, and The New York Times. She lectures across the USA at such prestigious venues as the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, Smithsonian Museum in DC, Virginia Fine Arts Museum, and 92nd St Y, NYC's premiere cultural center.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 23 reviews
83%
(19)
13%
(3)
4%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
C
C.K. (Kirkland, US)
History of Sicilian Cuisine

This was a very interesting and informative presentation. The flow through history of agricultural and culinary introduction into the Sicily cuisine was sometimes surprising and always interesting. An excellent presentation.

A
A.H. (Whitehorse, CA)
Thorough and Fascinating

This course gave a very well prepared overview of a very long and complex history.

J
J.R. (Voorhees Township, US)
Historic roots of Sicilian Food

Francine gave another wonderful talk ! The mix of cultures and native elements to create the "classic Sicilian cuisine were fascinating. Francine always gives the "just the right mix" of history, culture and modernity

M
Margaret (Colts Neck, US)
Roots of Sicilian Food

I was drawn to this presentation because I'm interested in learning about the origins of my ancestor's traditions. Francine gave an extensive talk which left me hungry, happy and eager to learn more. It is obvious that she loves what she does. She is an engaging speaker and also shared recipes and resources to pursue.

L
Lynn Nelson (Santa Rosa Beach, US)
Sumptuous gifts of Sicily

Ms Segan knocked it out of the ballpark again with her delectable descriptions of the contributions of each of the conquering rulers over the 2000 years. Riveting.

Customer Reviews

Based on 23 reviews
83%
(19)
13%
(3)
4%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
C
C.K. (Kirkland, US)
History of Sicilian Cuisine

This was a very interesting and informative presentation. The flow through history of agricultural and culinary introduction into the Sicily cuisine was sometimes surprising and always interesting. An excellent presentation.

A
A.H. (Whitehorse, CA)
Thorough and Fascinating

This course gave a very well prepared overview of a very long and complex history.

J
J.R. (Voorhees Township, US)
Historic roots of Sicilian Food

Francine gave another wonderful talk ! The mix of cultures and native elements to create the "classic Sicilian cuisine were fascinating. Francine always gives the "just the right mix" of history, culture and modernity

M
Margaret (Colts Neck, US)
Roots of Sicilian Food

I was drawn to this presentation because I'm interested in learning about the origins of my ancestor's traditions. Francine gave an extensive talk which left me hungry, happy and eager to learn more. It is obvious that she loves what she does. She is an engaging speaker and also shared recipes and resources to pursue.

L
Lynn Nelson (Santa Rosa Beach, US)
Sumptuous gifts of Sicily

Ms Segan knocked it out of the ballpark again with her delectable descriptions of the contributions of each of the conquering rulers over the 2000 years. Riveting.