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Building Community Resilience through Communication & Technology

Dolce Tentazione, Castronovo di Sicilia



Giuseppe Sparacello’s Dolce Tentazione is based in Castronovo di Sicilia, an ancient  Byzantine town origin, perched on a rock above 700 metre above sea level, halfway between Palermo and Agrigento.

Giuseppe started practicing confectionery when he was in high school. In the days when his classmates skipped school and wandered around town, he would go back to his father's biscuit factory. He was 16 then and already falling in love with the art thanks  to master confectioner who came all the way from Palermo to support his father’s lab. Standing side by side to him made Giuseppe’s vision about his professional future ever clearer.

Once he finished school, Giuseppe served in the National service for a year. Even in that case, he did not lose the desire to return to Castronovo and experiment in his lab. By the time he was 18 and had left the army he asked his father to track down that old master who’d instructed him on the basics and proposed himself as an apprentice. Thus, every week from Monday to Thursday for a year, Giuseppe trained in Palermo, floodinghis mentor with questions for 10 hours straight, absorbing his teachings like a sponge and trying to apply them on his return to town.

Through him, Giuseppe was able to become familiar with the associations that animated the sector at the metropolitan and regional level. Thus, after completing his apprenticeship, he took on further courses and masters to refine his skills in the art of chocolate and ice cream with the biggest names nationally and internationally over the next 5-6 years, including a period of training. in Turin.

"What I do is almost spontaneous, the inspiration comes naturally because I feel it from within. I happen to create by looking at the sky ”he admits over the phone.

A concrete case of applied inspiration is his Torta del Pellegrino, the Pilgrim’s Cake. Reflecting on the first tasters, the hikers of the Via Francigena, he asked himself “what they would have seen along the way: almonds, ricotta, lemons, oranges, honey”. That is what he assembled into the cake. So when, a pilgrim asks him what ingredients he uses, Giuseppe replies: "just close your eyes and try to remember what you saw during your journey".



Counterintuitively, Giuseppe declares: “I was lucky enough to do my job in Sicily. I was lucky because nature gave us wonderful cheeses, ricotta, citrus fruits, pistachios. The desserts may s well be excellent, but Nature is the senior partner in Sicily. I am thankful for having been born and living in Castronovo with such a variety of high quality materials: walnuts, hazelnuts, cherries, almonds, pistachios, oranges, lemons are all on my doorstep.

If you put together unbeatable products, 90% of the work is donethat - for the same surface area - he has not yet come across a region with such a marked biodiversity, which translates into an unparalleled variety of confectionery products: each community has its own local sweets and its own interpretation of the regional ones, such as the ever-present cassata (a ricotta cheese-filled cake)"

In terms of social sustainability, Giuseppe briefly explains how to guarantee it:" love your neighbour as yourself"  while economic sustainability, is a by-product of a savings culture for saving is the best gain. He argues that a lot you can be done with a little and that waste is so if one has purchased the wrong goods.



I promote tradition in innovation with the contribution of new products and creations without forgetting the history of confectionery. Of all those who invaded us, the Arabs were the most generous (from sorbets to cassata). As a technological and process innovation, the blast chilling and storage production line has a competitive advantage. In Sicilian it is said "I fierri fannu u mastru". If you have them, it takes less time.



The corporate values ​​are loyalty, honesty and ethical competition. Dolce Tentazione is a member of the SlowFood and - in addition - adopts a self-discipline based on transparency implying that there ought to be an exact correspondence between the raw materials proposed and those actually sold. Giuseppe is also a member of the ATRAPOS Confectioners association for: "Being part of a network - he says - serves to confront and grow because from others you learn culturally from realities and professionals from other contexts."



The company has a second shop in Mussomeli, a town 25 km away away from the first location.

The next ones e plans to replicate his business model are in Milan and some European capital. As for the ability to resist crises, he jokingly says: “when have we ever been in crisis in Sicily? We overcame them with a lot of nonchalance because we got used to it " Giuseppe Sparacello argues that a crisis can be overcome with love, which pushes people beyond their limits and unveils  opportunity to those who wishe to see them inventive from constraints. During crises, “one can resist if he/she masters his/her trade and if keeps his/her eyes open in case an opportunity comes by

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Building Community Resilience through Communication & Technology


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