One of the most beautiful inlets in Northern Sicily, not far from Cefalů, is "la Caldura", or "la Calura" as it is called here. The exact origin of this name is still unknown, although it has been speculated that it could come from the Greek words: "kalňs" (= beautiful) and "oreuo" (haven); if that is true, it would mean beautiful haven. The name could also come from the Latin word "calidum" which means hot or very warm. Yet, it is most likely that the name was coined after the Arabic word "calhur", meaning splendid Eastern beach. Although the etymology of the name is not confirmed, sure is that the Calura remains one of the most unpolluted areas in the island. It is a world in its own, made up of rocks, small enchanted coves, beaches and the beautiful sea. In the Northern part of the Calura, among cacti and agaves, are the ruins of one of the many towers which were used in the past to send messages throughout the entire Sicilian coastline. Nearby the tower ruins is the Kalura Hotel which was opened at the beginning of the Sixties and has been managed, for over twenty years, by the Curcios. Your stay at the Kalura Hotel will be unforgettable, not only because of its location, the family atmosphere, the great variety of sports and recreational activities, but also - and especially - because of the excellent Sicilian cuisine of the hotel restaurant.
Gino Mazzola has a long experience as a cook. He has been working at Hotel Kalura since 1985. He has been the head cook since 1992.
The richness, the variety, the colours and, at the same time, the simplicity of the Sicilian cuisine resemble the character of the Sicilians with their happiness, strength and joie de vivre coupled with the beautiful sea, the sunshine and the Mediterranean climate. For centuries, Sicily was ruled by foreigners: Greek, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Swabians, the French and the Spaniards. Each civilization left important traces in the arts, literature and cookery of the island. The Sicilian cuisine was mainly influenced by the Arabian one. We use the same spices, vegetables, rice, candied fruit. The way we present our dishes, their richness in taste and colours, as well as ice-cream and sorbet (in Arabic: Sharbat) are all derived from the Arabian cuisine.
It does not take long before the visitor realizes that the essence of the Sicilian cuisine is in the tree "P"s: Pasta, Pesce (=fish) and Pasticceria (=pastry). Pasta is cooked in salt water, salty as the sea water. The water is used first to boil vegetables (e.g.: wild fennel) and then to cook the pasta. One of the most popular dishes is called "pasta con le sarde" (pasta with sardines) whose main ingredients, apart from the pasta and the sardines, are: raisins, pine seeds, wild fennel (cicely), bread crumbs and saffron, basic ingredients of many other dishes too. Meat is not very popular in Sicily, whereas fish - the second P - is a very important element of our cuisine. Sardines and swordfish are mostly used, both raw and cooked; but we also eat other types of fish, seafood, sea-urchin and squid. Everything is fresh and colourful: tomatoes, lemons, fennel, aubergines, bell peppers etc. Olive oil is used to prepare almost every dish, just like butter in Northern European countries. At Hotel Kalura we make sure that all ingredients are fresh and they are mostly produced by us. The joie de vivre ist greatly represented by the "Pasticceria". Every festivity, party or event ends with the sweet taste of a dessert: almond biscuits, cassata, cannoli, ice-cream, sorbet, granita and nougat. The main ingredients are almonds and ricotta.
The restaurant of the Kalura Hotel offers a traditional Sicilian cuisine, a variety of international dishes and a touch of nouvelle cuisine created by our cooks. The Hotel management and the cooks hope you will enjoy yourself when preparing the dishes with the recipes contained in this book.Bon appétit!