July 28, 2013

Palermo, Sicily. May, 1988

What are these? Three guesses. If you guessed that they were plaster molds used to make marzipan fruit in a town known for that ubiquitous almondy confection, you’re correct. Just before we left Palermo, Nick and I visited a man whose occupation was making just such plaster items. (He also made some decorative flourishes like tiny plaster shelves with Corinthian-column-like supports, of which I brought home two.) But these are his specialties. Look at the variety: corn, eggplants, lemons, tomatoes, even a pig’s face. Once the almond paste is forced into the molds and retrieved, the shapes are painted with food colorings and sold at what seems like every other storefront in town.

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