The Last “Traditional” Bakery of Sicily

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In the small town of Marsala in Sicily, Italy, a small bakery tucked away in a corner of the historical center may take your attention away from the sweet wines and cannoli. On the outside, the tiny bakery doesn’t seem like much; it’s barely noticeable. It has three rooms all connected, all the size of a small bathroom. However, any local Marsalan will tell you that this is the most authentic, old-style, and mind-blowing bakery in the area.

My dad, mom, and I were lucky enough to take a peak at the bakery’s original style of baking traditional Sicilian breads. It was unlike any other Italian bakery I’d ever been to, which is why I’m taking the time to write about it. It is one of the last of its kind, lasting through the transition into commercial baking and cheap production. I thought it was odd how when we went there the first morning, they said the first batch wouldn’t come out until 11 a.m. All of the other bread shops open 4 hours before! The next morning I discovered why.

The bakery consists of three old sicilian bakers, who have probably been making bread the way their grandfathers used to since they were born. They have this large brick oven that runs its fire on olive wood, which gives the bread an incredible flavor. The antique oven uses no gas, so they open at 11 a.m because it takes so long to fire up. However, the bread is well worth the wait!

I often worry that no kids will be taking up the traditional ways of work in Italy, and we may loose some important parts of our culture. Every time I see Italians at work doing things old-style, without electricity or working by hand, it is always the elderly. Bakeries like these need to be savored, which is why we bought a bagful for the trip back to our vineyard!

5 responses on “The Last “Traditional” Bakery of Sicily

  1. Hello,
    Just wondering if you remember the name of the bakery in Marsala, and if you would have the contact info of anyone who works there. I’m doing a fellowship about baking and would like to know!

    • I am sorry, but I do not. I tried finding its name online, but they are not present on the internet (the workers there are very old). They didn’t even have a sign outside of their shop. All I know is it’s in the center of Marsala, it’s a very small shop that doesn’t look like a bakery at all, and it’s one of the oldest bakeries in the town still making bread the old-fashioned way. Hope that helps! Sorry I couldn’t get any more info!
      -Ben Gaiarin

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