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The past few weeks have flown by, literally as we sail from Italy to Montenegro to Croatia and not only to Croatia but managing to sail from the bottom end to the top in a matter of days barely stopping for a walk ashore, but then there was that time I would dash in, and scour the markets as I remembered them from 12 years ago.

My favourite, over the last month and one that will remain my favourite it Siracusa in Sicily where the vendors each year become a little more vocal as slowly more tourists make there way to this street full of stalls, and small shop fronts. I visited the market 3 times in as many days that I could get ashore just prior to the guests arrival. The produce is all local, almonds, pistachio, tomatoes and of course the worlds best cherry tomatoes, olives, capers, swordfish, tuna the list could go on so easily but really you must put it on your list to visit as it is wonderful.

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The vendors are all vying for business and have plenty of tasting plates on offer bread with sun dried tomato paste, tinted with some chili, shaved pecorino on top, slices of salami, home made caponata, black prosciutto, various pecorino cheeses, or roasted ricotta…you are bombarded with flavours, textures that your taste buds are on a passage of exhilaration. My memories of this market from year ago was great so to go back and experience it again when I had my own time was wonderful. So much was tried, so much was bought, enthusiasm from the locals at my interest in foods meant that I was spoilt with things to try, wines, olive oils, more olives that are hidden from the crowd, biscotti, oh and this cheese you must try this. Then we go into details of production of cheese, or the drying of the tomatoes… I could have spent every day there and learnt so much more of the way of life and the local food production there at the market it would have been incrediable but I will save that for another day.

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My bags were so heavy full of all sorts of goodies it was hard to walk away and find someone to drive me back to the port, as I could have continued to buy. There just seems to be more and more things I was tempted to take, as once onboard I was not going to be able to get anymore. I had to have help carrying so once the taxi stand was found the bags were left so that I could go and pick up more that I had left at certain stalls, and also boxes of berries. A man kindly with his little moped van filled up the back of his moped pick up and took me and my bags down to the port. Before left I was asked by a lady if she could have one of my shopping bags as she had not seen the ones I had and she would really like it, so I unpacked a bag moving the shopping around a bit and satisfied a local Sicilian with merely a shopping bag from Coop on the mainland ! It was great to see the gratitude in her face.

My memories of Siracusa stay strong thanks to the pictures I was taking and also the tastes remain strong in my mouth of those wonder times spent at the market. I will be back …

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A few days later …. And miles further East we arrive in Montenegro for 24 hrs and onto Croatia but they will be posted later…

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Travel, cruising, cooking