The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine

Better not ask for a Coke – the soft drink is fresh lemonade, with local lemons and honey

- francomanc­a.co.uk; worldrise.org

fermented grapes from Mas col i’ s malvasia vines, a variety long grown on Salina and used to make wine. The ferment is the foundation of the sourdough ‘starter’ used to leaven the pizza dough and was created especially for the new restaurant by Mascoli’s London baker colleague Bridget Hugo.

Other Salina ingredient­s include anchovies (fresh as well as preserved), aubergines, courgettes, potatoes, olives, olive oil, ricotta info rn at a (cooked ricotta, see recipe), herbs and, of course, capers. The only meat is cured pork (pancetta or guanciale), occasional­ly used in the special. ‘ If people come here looking for a pepperoni pizza, they may be disappoint­ed,’ says Mascoli. Better not ask for a Coke, either – the soft drink is fresh lemonade, made with local lemon sand local honey. A short list of natural, unfiltered wines includes the island’s delicious malvasia whites, both dry and sweet.

Salina’ s revolution­ary pizzeria is ‘plastic-free’, using only glass bottles and natural materials, and 50 cents from the sale of every bottle of water is donated to Batti5, a project initiated by World Rise to educate children on the effect of plastic pollution on the ocean.

Eleonora Varaldo, Franco Manca’s opening manager, who has taken a busman’s holiday to launch Salina’s pizzeria, has relished the summer ’s task. ‘I love it here. I miss London, but this place is so beautiful and you can cool down in the sea on your break.’

In this archipelag­o of fire and heat, the activity of the wood-fired oven fits neatly. Into this furnace go the great ingredient­s that feed off the island’s fertility, so the islanders feed from it. As Mascoli says, it is perfect, isn’t it?

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Freshly made lemonade at Franco Manca; Mascoli (right) with his tomato grower, Biagio Rantuccio
Below, from left Freshly made lemonade at Franco Manca; Mascoli (right) with his tomato grower, Biagio Rantuccio
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