Sharon Palmer Remembers Pantelleria


I fell in love with the Mediterranean diet, thanks to Oldways’ enthusiasm for educating me on the healthy, delicious qualities of this traditional diet during the numerous Oldways Mediterranean conferences I attended in the past ten years.  Within no time I was under the spell of the foods and diet patterns of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, and I started applying this culinary style to my work as a food and nutrition journalist, as well as my own kitchen table.  Yet, the moment for me that really brought it all home was when I travelled to Pantelleria last fall with Oldways to learn more about the Mediterranean traditions in this region near Sicily.  It was during this trip that I really understood what the

Med Diet was all about—it was the “poor man’s” diet, which was created by the amazing tenacity and ingenuity of people over centuries as they created nutritious food from nothing.  I saw this in Pantelleria when I glimpsed thousand-year old terraces that circle the dry, windy island; the terraces created a unique biosystem that captures every drop of moisture and shields the grapes, olives, and vegetables from the wind.  One of my favorite dishes in Pantelleria—we tasted it nearly every day—was the simple, rustic Pantescan salad, featuring potatoes, tomatoes, onions, capers, and olives.  This salad speaks of the local flavors of Pantelleria.

-Sharon Palmer

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