I live in Italy and am a dedicated "foodie". I have never seen or read about te extract used at KAF called Fiori di Sicily. I do find something called "Millefiori" which is an extract that has a fruity, floral aroma. Is this the same thing as Fiori di Sicily?
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It doesn't seem to be the same thing. Other people have also reported that it's difficult (or impossible) to find in Italy. I think it's one of those things that's just really limited in scope and perhaps very very regional.
I've seen Fiori di Sicily referred to as "orange blossom extract". Some people use vanilla + lemon flavoring, others suggest vanilla + orange flavoring (essence), and I even came across a recipe for a substitute that uses both:
Homemade Fiori di Sicilia Substitute Recipe:
Mix all extracts in a small bowl.
* 1 teaspoon GF vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon GF lemon extract or flavoring
* 1/2 teaspoon GF orange extract or flavoring
A British website that is selling the stuff describes it as follows:
(The following is allegedly a quote from Dan Lepard)
"Fiori di Sicilia is a highly fragrant floral extract used to flavour almond fillings, marzipan and other sweet foods. Sicily has a strong Arabic history and the aroma is likely to have developed and been used in kitchens in place of orange flower water, and combines the essential oils of different flowers and herbs found in Sicily. Though the exact combination is kept secret, ingredients that might be used include: rose, lemon grass, carob, hibiscus, marigold, mallow, mulberry, heather, liquorice, saffron, cornflower, Sicilian orange blossom, elderflower, and prickly pear flower"
Hope that helps.
I've read discussions on other boards regarding fiori di sicilia. You will get a lot of contradictory information because there's a natural fiori di sicilia which is a product of Italy and is commonly available in other countries re-packaged as a proprietary product - i.e. King Arthur in the U.S., Golda's Kitchen in Canada, Baking Bits in the U.K.
But there are also artificial blends which are not as well-received. I know there's at least one U.S. company which markets something of that sort.
Discussions on other boards say that it is available in Italy but has been located with varying success depending upon location (Como was mentioned) and may be seasonal as some consider it a panettone flavoring.
It might be principally a bakery flavoring. How many Italians make their own panettone? I think it was on the Dan Lepard site that he mentioned bakers would use a natural flavor if it was economical and in this case, by reducing the amounts of such ingredients as candied lemon, you also get a lighter bread with less risk of cutting the gluten strands.
If I were to guess, I'd say the principal ingredients are orange oil and vanilla with lesser notes of oil of lemon, a hint oil of bergamot and perhaps jasmine. But that's just a guess.
It is very strong and as with essential oils, should be used sparingly. I found in many recipes I'm happier if I cut the recommended amount by half.