“Our Italians” is a series of interviews conducted with local food artisans, experts and producers in some of the major Italian cities, but also those who provide their craft in smaller, rural, less visited parts of Italy. These passionate individuals are committed to sharing the best in Italian food, wine and traditional products, through family-owned businesses and small scale enterprises, and we’re here to introduce them to you.
Today we meet Edoardo who works in Ortigia, the ancient part of Siracusa in Sicily.
Edoardo Faraci is a young entrepreneur who studied law but also received a certificate from the Associazione Italiana Sommelier (AIS) in Rome while organizing gastronomic and wine events both in Rome and other major Italian cities. After university he returned to Syracuse, left his law career behind and began working in the hotel and tourism industry and as a consultant to Italian companies wanting to export fine food and wine products worldwide, for example Singapore, China and Brazil. Doing this for years, he decided to use his expertise and knowledge of Italy’s high quality wine and culinary richness to create his own business: Tabarè. Started in 2014 with his partner, Federico, the idea was to create an innovative shop catering to those who are increasingly coming to Sicily for its food, wine, history, culture, beautiful landscapes and beaches and then are able take back with them samples of the best the island has to offer.
On our last visit to Siracusa, we had a nice chat with Edoardo regarding his shop.
Casa Mia: First of all, what does the word Tabarè mean?
Edoardo Faraci: Tabarè is the word for ‘tray’ in Sicilian dialect, the sacred symbol of hospitality and a very important part of Sicily’s traditions.
CM: How did you find yourself in Ortigia and why did you open a food shop there?
EF: Ortigia is a small, separate island from Syracuse and is the old city center: it’s the historical heart of the city. Here, there are old artisanal food shops that are an integral part of Sicilian culinary tradition. Today Ortigia is also the main tourist destination in the southeastern part of Sicily.
CM: How does Tabarè compare to a French Epicerie, a German Delicatessen or even an Italian Gastronomia?
EF: All those types of shops have gourmet products (the Delicatessen, for example). Of course the Tabarè difference is that we recreate the atmosphere of historic Sicilian specialty food stores, where you can find all types of excellent products found only in Sicily.
CM: Where do the products come from and what are Tabarè’s specialties?
EF: Most of the products, like the fish products (for example, the tuna sauce and the tuna patè with pistachios); the jams or condiments (like the orange jam and the almond cream); the sauces (like the famous Sicilian pesto); the eggplant caponata and the extra virgin olive oil, come from the Syracuse area. The wine, like Moscato di Siracusa, the almond biscuits and the sundried tomatoes also are all local. The pistachio products like the pistachio cream, with chunks of these delicious nuts, and the pistachio pesto are made with Pistacchio di Bronte DOP from nearby Mount Etna. The artisanal pastas, which are made with traditional bronze extrusion dies, come from the center of Sicily where the finest and most elegant wheat is cultivated.
CM: What is the idea behind ‘Sicily in a Box’?
EF: The guests, after completing their journey, bring home with them memories of Sicily and its delicious food in our gift box. So every day they can dream about and remember their trip to Sicily through our gourmet products
CM: What does Sicilian food have to offer that is so unique?
EF: Sicilian food is unique first because it is the union of all the cuisines of the Mediterranean and the people who have lived with it (Greeks, Arabs, Spaniards, etc). And, also because the raw materials are so very good, for example the fish.
CM: Personally, what are some of your favorite things to eat?
EF: Absolutely the fish and anything made with pistachios!!!
Interested in learning more about the artisans, food experts, winemakers and other Italians you meet through our personalized, private food and wine experiences in Italy? Stay tuned for more interviews in the “Our Italians” series.
Elizabeth Janus is a passionate traveller, and makes it a point to peruse the farmer’s markets in every place she visits to get an immediate pulse of the city. For the last decade, she has been guiding discerning clients on food adventures at farmer’s markets, speciality shops and into her home for unique Italian meals to experience Italy as an Italian..