AMARO: the bitter tastes of Sicilian food and culture

Amaro is a film that brings to life the narrative of Sicilian food and culture through the exploration of a single taste: bitter.

Amaro is the story of the complexity of food culture in Sicily. The film delves into the island’s gastronomic history, highlights present day culinary traditions, and follows the hands and hearts of a people who have embraced the most remote, least valued, and often disregarded taste: bitterness. The film talks of the foraging traditions of an agricultural state, where gathering bitter greens was a last resort, a symbol of need. It follows the Good Friday ceremony, an event in the small town of Caltanissetta where local foragers, representatives of the bitter taste, transform from marginalized to celebrated as they lead the town’s celebratory procession. Amaro also talks of its namesake, the Italian digestivo that is truly an expression of place, with coveted recipes that vary drastically by the available wild bitter herbs in each community.

Finally the film takes us from the streets and fields into the homes of Sicilian locals. In the kitchen, bitterness plays a leading role in food alchemy, transforming what could easily be discarded into delectable dishes and products with unique flavors and mythical traditions. From honeys to cheeses, and sautéed cardoons with anchovies to risotto with wild asparagus, bitterness serves to elevate the other tastes we sometimes take for granted and brings us back to our roots: of the land, of the culture, and of tradition. From field to fork, Amaro follows a flavor that has helped shape the Sicilian food identity.

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Fabrizia Lanza is the director of the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School and travels around the world to produce events focusing on Sicilian cuisine in renowned restaurants. These have included Alice Water’s Chez Panisse and Mario Batali's restaurants Lupa and Del Posto, to mention only the most famous. Fabrizia is the author of Olive, A Global History and the cookbook Coming Home to Sicily: Seasonal Harvests and Cooking at Case Vecchie. She shares her vision and abundance of knowledge about the Sicilian food landscape as the creative designer of the project. As the face of the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School, she promotes the film and its mission both locally and abroad.

Fabrizia Lanza is the director of the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School and travels around the world to produce events focusing on Sicilian cuisine in renowned restaurants. These have included Alice Water’s Chez Panisse and Mario Batali's restaurants Lupa and Del Posto, to mention only the most famous. Fabrizia is the author of Olive, A Global History and the cookbook Coming Home to Sicily: Seasonal Harvests and Cooking at Case Vecchie. She shares her vision and abundance of knowledge about the Sicilian food landscape as the creative designer of the project. As the face of the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School, she promotes the film and its mission both locally and abroad.