Friday, August 17, 2012

Sicilian Cassata dessert reigned supreme on Culinary Tour

Guests on a sold-out springtime Taste History Culinary Tour of Historic Delray Beach & Boynton Beach, Florida experienced food joy with a dessert cooking demo and tastings of the Sicilian Cassata cake.  Pastry Chef Anna Orlando who owns the family-operated Palermo's Bakery in Boynton Beach, Florida conducted the cooking demo at Macy's Boynton Beach.  For the demo,  culinary tools from the Martha Stewart Collection were used.  Pastry Chef Anna is a descendant of the Palermo family from Sicily, Italy who've been in the bakery business for more than 125 years.

The often disputed claim is that the Cassata's 14th century beginnings were influenced by Arab (Muslim) occupation of the island of Sicily, Italy during medieval times.  However, some food historians state that the Cassata did not become a dessert until the 17th century and the cake evolved again in the 18th century.  The Arabs ruled Sicily for two centuries which enhanced Sicily's agriculture and cuisine.  Sugarcane was introduced in Sicily by the Arabs which transformed Sicilian cooking.

Cassata is a tort cake filled with ricotta cheese that involves a detailed process to cook then intricately decorate.  In fact, the making of the Cassata is considered a specialty talent done by skilled pastry chefs like Anna Orlando of Palermo's Bakery.

This Taste History Culinary Tour also had tasting experiences at the Ocean Avenue Green Market/Secret Garden Cafe in Boynton Beach; and  Marianne Gourmet, Scuola Vecchia, and Dee Dee's Conch & Rib Shack in Delray Beach, Florida.

Here are the photos from the April 28, 2012 Taste History Tour:

Sicilian Cassata created by Pastry Chef Anna Orlando who owns Palermo's Bakery in Boynton Beach, Florida.  Chef Orlando conducted a cooking demo of the Cassata at Macy's Boynton Beach that was followed by tastings for the Taste History Culinary Tour.

Pastry Chef Anna Orlando models an apron by the Martha Stewart Collection as she conducted a cooking demo at Macy's Boynton Beach for the Taste History Culinary Tour

Pastry Chef Anna Orlando (donned in an apron by the Martha Stewart Collection) demonstrates at Macy's Boynton Beach for the Taste History Culinary Tour the process for creating the Sicilian Cassata which is a sponge cake. 

Culinary tools were provided by Macy's for the cooking demo for the Taste History Culinary Tour.  A KitchenAid seven-speed hand mixer was used by Pastry Chef Anna Palermo.

Cooking demo in The Cellar at Macy's Boytnon Beach for the Taste History Culinary Tour

Martha Stewart Collection Non-Skid Mixing Bowls and the Spatula from the Martha Stewart Professional Tools used by Pastry Chef Anna Orlando for the Cassata dessert cooking demo at Macy's Boynton Beach for the Taste History Culinary Tour
The Sicilian Cassata is a two-layered sponge cake.  The Taste History Culinary Tour guests observed Pastry Chef Anna Orlando prepare the Cassata at Macy's Boynton Beach.

The Sicilian Cassata is layered with Ricotta cheese.  The steb-by-step demo was done in The Cellar at Macy's Boynton Beach for the Taste History Culinary Tour.

The steb-by-step demo of the Cassata was done in The Cellar at Macy's Boynton Beach for the Taste History Culinary Tour

Mittens by the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's Boynton Beach on display for the cooking demo for The Taste History Culinary Tours of Historic Palm Beach County, Florida

L-R: Taste History Executive Tour Director Lori with Anna Orlando of Palermo's Bakery and entertainemnt reporter Shaps at Macy's Boynton Beach for the Taste History Culinary Tour cooking demo and tastings.

Angela Mitchell of Macy's Boynton Beach with entertainment reporter Shaps


The urban garden in Downtown Boynton Beach, Florida provides farm-to-table freshness to the Ocean Avenue Green Market/Secret Garden Cafe.

"Farmer" Sherry Johnson greeted the Taste History tour guests at the urban garden in Downtown Boynton Beach, Florida
Taste History tour guests arrive at the farm-to-table Ocean Avenue Green Market & Secret Garden Cafe in Downtown Boynton Beach, Florida

Chef Phillip of the Secret Garden Cafe prepared grass-fed sliders for the Taste History Culinary Tour.

The pantry at the Ocean Avenue Green Market in Downtown Boynton Beach, Florida

Family-owned Marianne Gourmet Shop in Delray Beach was visited for the Taste History Culinary Tour.
Freshly baked foods at the Family-owned Marianne Gourmet Shop in Delray Beach was visited for the Taste History Culinary Tour.

Frank of the Marianne Gourmet Shop explained the freshly baked cuisines prepared for the Taste History Culinary Tour.  The tour guests ate Marianne Gourmet's specialty Pesto Cheese Tort, Black Bean Salsa and Cookies.

Dolores, going strong volunteering for the Taste History Culinary Tours
The Taste History tour guests toured the 1926 Colony Hotel
Scuola Vecchia, which means "old school" is a certified pizzeria in Downtown Delray Beach that was visited for the Taste History Culinary Tours.
Certified Neapolitan pizza-maker at Scuola Vecchia demonstrated the creation of the Pizza Margherita for the guests on the Taste History Culinary Tour.
The famed Pizza Margherita at Scuola Vecchia was a delicious food experience for the Taste History Culinary Tour
L-R: Taste History Culinary Tour Executive Director, Lori with Scuola Vecchia owner  Sharon and entertainment reporter Shaps.

Dee Dee's Conch & Rib Shack served Bahamian food tastings of the Conch Fritters and Barbecue Ribs for the Taste History Culinary Tour.

(Center) The eateries namesake Dee Dee welcomed the Taste History Tour guests and she shared her journey to opening the popular conch and rib shack.

Entertainment reporter Shaps gave the conch fritters high marks at Dee Dee's Conch & Rib Shack for the Taste History Culinary Tour.

Norman, the bus driver for the Taste History Culinary Tour


To purchase tickets on-line for the Taste History Culinary Tour of Historic Palm Beach County, visit tastehistoryculinarytours.org or call 561-243-2662 or 561-638-8277. Pre-payment is required. Private group tours are also available.

Due to the exceeding popularity of the Taste History Culinary Tours of Historic Palm Beach County, the first seven-months sold-out. To meet the demand for the culinary tours, more dates have been added with the tours being expanded to consist of food samplings in historic Lake Worth including Lantana in Palm Beach County, Florida. Therefore, the tours are held at 11am year-round on the second, third and fourth Saturdays of each month, plus private group tours are offered. The Taste History Culinary Tours of Historic Delray Beach & Boynton Beach, Florida is offered on the third and fourth Saturdays of each month. And, Taste History Culinary Tours of Historic Lake Worth & Lantana is held on the second Saturday of each month, year-round, effective April 14, 2012.

The Taste History Culinary Tours of Historic Palm Beach County includes family-owned and locally-owned eateries, markets and urban farms in historic Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth and Lantana plus exclusive discounts at Macy’s are provided specifically for the guests on the Taste History Culinary Tour. The Taste History Culinary Tours are the first food tours of its style in Palm Beach County and are conducted by the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History (MLFH) which is a non-profit 501c3 organization. These food tours include a live guide and are 4-hours with a combination of bus riding and 4 to 6 blocks of walking tour with visits to at least 3 to 4 restaurants/eateries/cultural sites for cuisine tastings along with visiting historic districts, buildings and art galleries. There are more 20 restaurant/food partners for the culinary tour that are visited on a rotating alternate schedule which means different eateries are visited each tour. Private group tours are also available.

Taste History is sponsored in part by Macy's which is famous for its culinary tools department; the Patricia Ann Ravo Fund and the Boris & Edith Rueger Fund. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

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The following are upcoming culinary tour 2012 dates:

August 2012:
Saturday, August 11, 2012 at 11am Lake Worth/Lantana
Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 11am Delray Beach/Boynton Beach
Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 11am Delray Beach/Boynton Beach

September 2012:
Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 11am Lake Worth/Lantana
Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 11am Delray Beach/Boynton Beach
Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 11am Delray Beach/Boynton Beach

October 2012:
Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 11am Lake Worth/Lantana
Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 11am Delray Beach/Boynton Beach
Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 11am Delray Beach/Boynton Beach

November 2012:
Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 11am Lake Worth/Lantana
Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 11am Delray Beach/Boynton Beach
Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 11am Delray Beach/Boynton Beach

December 2012
Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 11am Lake Worth/Lantana
Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 11am Delray Beach/Boynton Beach
Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 11am Delray Beach/Boynton Beach
For more information, call 561-243-2662, e-mail: Tour@TasteHistoryCulinaryTours.org

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