The use of almonds in many dishes is distinctive in Sicilian cooking, part of the island's Arab heritage. Sicily of course also makes a lot of them into marzipan, for the famous martorana fruits.

Two varieties are in the Ark of Taste: Mandorla di Toritto from Puglia and the Mandorle di Noto, grown in eastern Sicily, especially near the lovely Baroque town of Noto.

On the first Sunday in February, Agrigento, Sicily, famous for its valley of ancient Greek temples, celebrates its almond blossoms with plenty of folklore—flag waving, Sicilian carts, costumes, and marching bands and folk dances.


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