Archive for May 2015

Guest Post: The Tastes of Sicily

Saturday, 23 May 2015

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 (:

Every year, Sicily attracts thousands of tourists to its shores. This island is not just a place for getting tanned in the summer – it offers a complete package to interested travellers. It is chock-full of archaeological treasures, the history is rich, the panorama is stunning, and the cuisine is just divine. These are all reasons to get a holiday villa in Sicily full of facilities and close to central areas. There is so much to do and see to ensure that you will have some of the best times ever.

Sicilian cuisine is complex. This is evident in the various dishes to be found there brought about by its history of interracial influences and the fertility of its land and marine life. Every dish is a poetry and every wine a song. From the slopes of Mount Etna down to the pristine shores, there is food to taste and a wine to match it. A gastronomic experience in Sicily is a perfect way to have a perspective about the island’s cultures and traditions. Culinary tours are some of the most typical ways to do this where one can get hands-on cooking classes and taste wines and dishes of the regions.

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 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 rag├╣ 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.

Desserts. Sicily is a haven of sweets. Cannolo, perhaps the most sensational, is filled with ricotta cheese and candied fruit and even dark chocolate. Cassata is a sponge cake drenched in liquer and contains ricotta, vanilla and candied fruit. Granita Siciliana comes in many flavours and variations as well as their gelato. Try the ones of pistachio! Frutta martorana resembles fruits and vegetable and are made with almond flour and vanilla can be perfect gifts back home.

The dishes of Sicily are varied and rich and there’s wine to match each. For culinary tours , you get to visit wine cellars and taste some wines such as Mamertino di Milazzo and Nero d’Avola . There are also olive oil tasting itineraries. Before booking your holiday, you might need a Sicily tourism guide to plan everything you need to know about your holiday and your adventure into Sicilian cuisine.

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