With Caponata the smell hits you hours before you eat it. That warm vinegar smell is blended with the burt char of the outside of the eggplant to create a smell that is pungent & pervasive without being too sharp. Even before you char the eggplant you start to get an inkling for how warm the smell will be when you mix the briney flavors of the capers & olives with the tomatoes and begin to warm up the apple cider vinegar. If I was in the fireplace business I would have a whole line of fatwood kindling impregnated with the smell of Caponata – smoky & rich & salty.
By the time you have all the ingredients mixed together the aroma turns your home into a tiny Italian Restaurant smack dab in the center of Sicily – and you can almost smell of hearty platters of pasta, cheese, & overfilled cannoli all served up family style. My Caponata brings that world to your world. Best served in a big heap with wine, cheese, bread, & olives.