Hi everyone! The lovely Hanna is guest blogging today. She's a freelance editor who is living in Italy, and she's going to introduce some of the typical dishes in Sicily. Make sure to leave her a note to say hi in the comments (:
Participants visit areas to know local products and have a bite or two of local dishes or drop by wine cellars for wine tasting. If you like this idea, check out italyandwine.info for more wine tasting trails in Sicily. While it is impossible to know all the dishes in just a few days, at least you can get to know the more popular ones. Meet the popular arancini, which are fried rice balls with some filling inside like ragù or mozzarella. Also snack on sfincione, a typical Sicilian type of pizza that has tomatoes, anchovies and onions which you can buy from the local bakery. Caponata is a famous salad-appetizer, with ingredients of eggplants, capers, olive and celery, and sometimes artichokes are used.
Renowned for seafood dishes, you will discover that swordfish is a typical ingredient used in pasta or as a main course. Pesce Spada alla Ghiotta is a swordfish dish typical of Messina. Pasta con le Sarde uses sardines, preferably fresh, and flavored with wild fennel, to name a few. Dine on salame di tonno, dried fish roe, or bottarga. Recipes go on and on and ingredients used are always seasonal and varied. Pasta alla Norma which is perhaps the most popular Sicilian pasta dish, is macaroni with eggplant cooked in a light tomato sauce and topped with grated salted ricotta. There is also Sicilian couscous which reflects the Arab influence in the place. If you happen to be in Santa Cristina Gela or in Piana degli Albanesi, try the Likenge which are pork sausages flavored with fennel, salt and pepper, similar to the Italian luganega.
Sicily is also a place to taste different cheeses. There is Pecorino with variations flavored with peppercorns and other spices. Cacciocavallo is a favorite to use with pasta and is perfect to complement stronger wines. Aged, salted cottage cheese, ricotta salata is a popular cheese often used with dishes. There are a lot of other cheese products such as provola, tuma and primo sale, to mention a few.