Last but not least, Sicilian cuisine is well worth tasting, with its wide range of gastronomic delicacies (that vary from province to province and from town to town according to local customs). The variety of fresh fish (pasta with sardines, swordfish rolls, sardines a beccafico and fish couscous), traditional recipes (pasta ncaciata, stigghiole, chick pea panelle, rice arancini), colourful dishes (pasta alla norma, caponata), the vast array of flavours, genuine ingredients and cooking methods (farsumagru, aggrassatu) and its tasty pastries (cassata, cannoli, granite, pasticciotti, marzipan fruits, pignolata and buccellati) have all contributed to earning Sicilian cooking many a well-deserved award.
For wine lovers, an absolute must is surely a tour of the island’s flourishing wine industry, among the vineyards, wineries and wine cellars, to taste the most famous of Sicilian wines: Nero d’Avola, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Alcamo white, Marsala, Moscato, Malvasia from Lipari and Passito from Pantelleria.
The cuisine of Trapani is amongst the most popular ones in Sicily as it is capable of always adding an original twist to its set of traditional local recipes. The Cous Cous cooked in Trapani is just one out of many examples: it comes from the Arabic word Kuskusu, it’s a typical of North African dish, is made of steamed semolina grains that are then mixed with cooked meat.
Dolci meraviglie siciliane
There is one aspect of the Sicilian culture that well reflects its long history: its confectionary art. The Sicilian cakes and pastries show the influences of the many conquerors that the island saw and are a rich cultural heritage that is very proudly defended and handed down in Sicily.
From the Magna Graecia and the refined Arab civilization to the Byzantine pomp and the baroque splendour, a wide variety of delicacies comes to life again to please every palate. Together with the cassata, a beautiful sponge layer cake filled with a ricotta cheese filling, and the icy granita, Sicily boasts local delicacies such as the Modica chocolate and local traditions such as the Festa di San Giuseppe (Saint Joseph's festival), celebrated on the 19th of March with the fried deserts called sfinci, that are prepared in a different way depending on the city or town where they are made. Some of the best Sicilian patisseries:
Granita is one of the greatest gastronomic joys of Sicily. It was Arab inhabitants of the island who first taught the locals how best to harvest snow from the slopes of Mount Etna and keep it frozen in mountain caves. So that the snow was brought down in summer, flavored and eaten as a sorbet. Now it’s the Sicilian most perfect – icy but not frozen – warm-weather breakfast. There are different styles more or less granular, more or less slushy, that depends on location. Typical flavors are almond in the province of Siracusa, myrtle in Messina and pistachio in Catania.
Granita is one of the greatest gastronomic joys of Sicily. It was Arab inhabitants of the island who first taught the locals how best to harvest snow from the slopes of Mount Etna and keep it frozen in mountain caves. So that the snow was brought down in summer, flavored and eaten as a sorbet. Now it’s the Sicilian most perfect – icy but not frozen – warm-weather breakfast.