For Your Gastronomic Vacation: The Best of Sicilian Cuisine
Are you thinking of travelling abroad and want to experience fine cuisine; you have come to the right destination to see what we think. Planning a break away can be a difficult task, from finding travel insurance to booking flights and accommodation, the list is endless. We have put together below some great and useful information, to give you an insight to the culinary delights of Sicily.
Sicily is famous for its unique, fine cuisine. It is strongly influenced by Italian, Spanish, Greek and Arab cuisine. It embraces all of its influences to create its own unique and wonderful dishes. Sicilian cuisine has been shaped by Arabic cooking since the 10th and 11th century. Fried preparations which are very popular are a direct result from this influence. So, what are the best dishes the island has to offer? We’re going to take a look at some of Sicily’s most tasty traditional dishes. Even just reading about them will leave your mouth watering.
Photo credit: Sergio Calleja
Gatò di patate
One of Sicily’s most scrumptious starters is their Gatò di patate, a traditional Neapolitan, potato based dish. Essentially it is a casserole of potatoes with mozzarella, prosciutto and salami that is baked until the cheese is melted and the top is crispy and browned, sounds simple yet incredibly tasty. Main dishes is where the Mediterranean island’s cuisine excels. Some of the most famous servings include Spaghetti ai ricci, Pasta alle sarde and Manicotti.
Pasta alle sarde
Pasta alle sarde or pasta with sardines is one of Sicily’s most famous dishes. It is traditionally cooked when sardines are in season between March and September when you can buy sardines fresh at the market. The main ingredients of the dish are sardines, pasta and fennel. Pasta used is generally semolina, bucatini and perciatelli. The dish can vary to include other ingredients such as onions, anchovies, raisins and pine nuts.
On your trip to Sicily, why not try out some homemade Manicotti. Manicotti are very large pasta shells that are stuffed, baked and topped with a traditional Italian white béchamel made from either Romano or Parmesan cheese. In Sicily, Manicotti is usually filled with ricotta cheese, cooked chopped spinach and veal. We highly recommend that you meal on top of your ‘to eat’ list when on your holiday.
Spaghetti ai ricci
Spaghetti ai ricci is a tasty sea urchin and spaghetti dish that any visitor to Sicily should try out. Generally, one either loves or hates sea urchin to eat.
Desserts and sweets
Other specialties of the Sicilian cuisine are desserts and sweets. Some of our favorites and what you should try out when you travel to Sicily include, frutta martorana, pignolata, cannolo siciliano , buccellato, cassata siciliana and granita .
One of the islands most popular desserts is granita. Granita is an amazing and delicious semi- frozen dessert. It is made from sugar, water and a variety of flavorings. Its origins lie in Sicily. It is similar to sorbet and Italian ice but is coarser and has a more crystalline texture.
Frutta martorana are a locally made sweet. The traditional marzipan sweets are in the form of fruit and vegetables.
Buccellato is a Sicilian circular cake that is presented by godparents to the family of their godchild on the christening day. According to tradition, the bigger the cake is, the better the luck. Depending on the recipe you use it can include dried fruit or candy fruit.
Pignolata is a delicious soft Sicilian pastry. Upon preparation it is half covered in chocolate and half covered in lemon icing. The pastry serves several people and is cut into smaller pieces to be served. Pignolati are also another variant, these are large portions of fried pastry cooked in a hot honey sauce and normally served sprinkled with chopped almonds and hazelnuts.
All of these dishes are served anywhere you will visit on the scenic island. On a trip to Sicily you will embrace the natural landscape, the sea, the lakes, the mountains and the natural flora and fauna. The island is steeped in cultural heritage and history, all of this complemented with some of the world’s finest cuisine. You are promised a truly amazing trip and your taste buds are guaranteed to be satisfied.