Substitute Vanilla Extract With Fiori Di Sicilia To Give Your Bakes A Citrusy Kick

You may have tasted Fiori di Sicilia baked into holiday sweet bread recipes like Italian panettone or pandoro, or perhaps in authentic Sicilian cannoli. Producer of the ingredient, King Arthur Baking Company, named it as its 2021 Ingredient of the Year, and thousands of gushing 5-star reviews add to its allure. The secret combination of ingredients uses botanicals found in the south of Italy (the translation is "flowers of Sicily") and includes extracts from flowers that might include marigolds, elderflowers, orange blossom, and roses, combining them with citrus oil. While Fiori di Sicilia offers a hint of vanilla, you'll also notice herbals like bergamot, lavender, and orange step toward center stage. The flavor profile has some similarities to what you might find in a freshly brewed cup of Eary Grey tea and offers a tasting experience that is something like a mixed scoop of vanilla and orange sorbet, a perfect flavor companion for dessert recipes in need of a bit of pizazz.

If you want to surprise the guests seated at your dinner table, consider adjusting recipes that call for vanilla and drop in Fiori di Sicilia, instead. The scented oil lends well to baked treats that can be served with coffee or tea, such as madeleines, and also adds complexity to creamy dessert puddings. Fiori di Sicilia is a potent product, however, so if you're looking to replace a measurement of vanilla extract, you may want to half or third what is called for in the original instructions. 

A few drops to brighten go-to recipes

A drop or two of Fiori di Sicilia added to summery fruit compote recipes or whipped into homemade creams can bring an added layer of flavor to desserts. The fragrant inclusion also settles easily into recipes made with almond or marzipan and complements richer recipes like vanilla ice creams and mousses. If a recipe calls for rose or orange blossom water, this could be an interesting ingredient swap to try with its floral notes. 

Creative culinary tinkerers may also enjoy experimenting with adding the citrusy ingredient to cocktails that are traditionally served with orange garnish — like a classic old fashioned. Remember: Add Fiori di Sicilia conservatively to your recipes. A little of the intense oil goes a long way.

Not only does the oil blend offer a fresh citrusy element to food and beverage concoctions, but the complex and layered aroma can brighten homes and kitchens — and even bottles of perfume. Enjoy surprising guests with the fresh, citrusy flavor and scent of this charming oil. The right use will garner murmurs of appreciation.