Well this is unexpected. I’ve spent the last year or two banging on about the evils of gluten to all and sundry and what’s my favourite recent discovery? A bakery, of course.
But a very fine bakery I might add, with everything being baked freshly on the day itself, owned and run by a Sicilian/Irish couple. And attached to this bakery, is a charming little coffee shop, emphasis on the ‘little’, so, not a place to bring that morbidly obese cousin of yours.
Twas a blast of warm air emanating from Panem, which enticed me inside in the first place, on a wet windy wintry January morning (with a side order of torrential rain, for good measure). I sat down and requested an espresso and scanned the counter for goodies. Sure enough, smiling back at me was a gluten-free Sicilian almond biscuit. This tasty treat was swiftly followed by an equally satisfying oatmeal and coconut biscuit, and another espresso. Some people go on pub crawls, I go on non-conformist coffee crawls. Just then, a host of focaccia slices and savoury croissants emerged from the oven. I started foaming at the mouth, like a rabid Pavlovian dog and pocketed one for later.
My mind drifts, thoughts of Sicily, enjoying breakfast al fresco from a hotel balcony, on a September morning, a majestic Mount Etna dipping its basalt toes in the turquoise waters of Naxos Bay. Bliss. Less blissful was the Sicilian approach to timekeeping! Grazie, Panem. Un piccolo e grazioso caffè.