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With their artisanal candied orange peels, Caffè Sicilia has succeeded in preserving a tiny slice of Sicily’s world-famous Navelina orange variety. One look and you can see that these are miles away from industrial candied fruit: no amorphous sugary lumps here, just whole sections of real orange peel. Open the bag and you can smell the difference as you’re greeted with the rich scent of orange blossoms and essential oils. But it’s the taste and texture that steal the show; Corrado’s orange peels are soft, not gummy, but with a dense, almost al dente finish. Their rich orange flavor is much more aromatic than sweet, and the taste that remains in the mouth is fresh citrus, not sugary or overly acidic.

Try your hand at traditional Italian desserts that call for candied orange peels, including panettone, pandolce, cannoli, cassata cake, gelato and neapolitan pastries. But you don’t have to be a professional pastry chef to add the rich flavor of Sicilian citrus fruit to homemade bread, focaccia, granola, or cookies. Rinse the sugar from the outside of the peels and they can be used in savory dishes as well, adding a unique touch to salads, risotto, ravioli filling, pasta sauce, fish, or meat. 

 

Producer Corrado Assenza’s goal is to prolong the life of fresh Sicilian citrus without the use of additives, using only the amount of sugar necessary for preservation. To produce his artisanal candied orange peels, Corrado uses the same fruit that he uses for his marmalades, collaborating with local farmers who grow the highest quality Sicilian oranges practically around the corner from his shop. This is as farm-to-table as it gets! Whereas industrial production uses glucose syrup which makes the fruit gummy and sulfites that change the flavor, Caffè Sicilia uses no preservatives and no glucose. The fruit is simply steamed in pastry ovens, cooled immediately, and then dipped in sugar. The key to the process is patience; over 3-4 weeks, the orange peels absorb the sugar, and the fruit is pasteurized and vacuum-packed.

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