The Best: Torrone from Caffe Sicilia in Noto
If I could be magically transported somewhere right this minute, like Dorothy in her sparkly red shoes, I'd like to be left off, please, at Caffe Sicilia in Noto, Sicily. I'm still dreaming of breakfast there--a bowl of icy almond granita with a soft tender brioche. I can't replicate that granita, but I just received a box of torrone from the shop as a present.
I have to get more. This torrone is not the break-your-teeth variety, but soft and yielding, perfumed with honey from the Iblei mountains, and loaded with almonds from Noto. I nearly groaned when I took the last bite.
It turns out, though, I don't have to go all the way to Noto to resupply my stash. The online Italian grocery Gustiamo sells Torrone di Mandorle di Noto from Caffe Sicilia, a phenomenal pastry shop founded in 1892. And if you get on the horn (or start clicking that mouse) right now, you might be able to get some shipped in time for Christmas. If not, consider a gift certificate.
Unfortunately, no picture of the actual torrone: I ate it all before I finished writing it up.
Gustiamo, www.gustiamo.com; 1-877-907-2525. Torrone di Mandorle di Noto, $17.50; Torrone di Pistachi di Bronte, $27.
--S. Irene Virbila
Photo by S. Irene Virbila