If you are a picky eater, Sicily is perfect for you!
In Sicily, we love eating, and everybody knows it.
The Sicilian culinary tradition has very ancient origins. In fact, the first written evidence of Sicilian cuisine dates back to the Greek era. The Greeks loved Sicilian olives, fruits, vineyards, cereals and prickly pears.
The first Sicilian recipes include sweets prepared with honey, dried grapes and almonds.
Sicily has now a very rich cuisine, thanks to the different dominations during the Middle Age and the Modern Era.
From sweets to fish, from fruits to bread and street food … In Sicily, there is always something to suit all tastes. Here, tradition and innovation go together perfectly.
You don’t know what to eat in Sicily because there are too many options and you are spoilt for choice?
Of course, choosing is not easy, but you cannot miss these 10 Sicilian specialties!
10 Sicilian specialty food to taste
1. Arancino (or arancina, as it’s so-called in Palermo)
These rice balls are a very unique specialty from Sicily! They are prepared with ragù, butter or pistacchio. Our friends in Palermo prefer to call it arancina. Wherever you are in Sicily and however you call them, you can taste arancini in lounge bars and in fry shops.
2. Cassata siciliana
This is a sweet made of ricotta cheese. It has Arab origins and you can taste it in sicilian bakeries at any time of the year, even if it is a typical Easter sweet.
3. Panelle palermitane
Panelle represent the typical Palermo Street Food. They are nothing more than croquettes made with chickpeas flour. It is a very simple dish, but it is worth trying it!
Were you waiting for it? Here you are the cannolo, the Sicilian sweet par excellence. Originally, they prepared it only with ricotta cheese, during Carnival. Today there are different variations: chocolate, hazelnut, gianduja, pistachio, orange or lemon.
5. Pasta con le sarde
This dish has also Arab origins. The main ingredients of this exquisiteness are sardines, fennel, pine nuts and raisin. If you love fish, you must try it! You can taste it in any typical Sicilian trattoria.
6. Granita con la brioche
This is the most chosen breakfast by Sicilian people during summer. Sometimes, they also have lunch with granita and brioche. The granita is different from ice-cream because of its solidity and tastes. There are different tastes of granita according to the zone. In Catania, for example, the most common ones are: lemon, almond, pistachio and black mulberries.
The Scacciata is a typical single dish of Christmas holidays. It can be stuffed with potatoes, sausage, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, onions and anchovies. The essential ingredient is usually tuma, a typical Sicilian cheese. You can find it in lounge bars and bakeries: they serve it already cut in slices, as it is considered tavola calda.
8. Pasta alla norma
This is a first curse made of homemade pasta with fried eggplants, tomato, salted ricotta and basil. It is the symbol of Catania and its name derives from the Vincenzo Bellini’s opera. You can taste it in every sicilian trattoria or you can buy and take it away from fry shops.
9. Crispelle di riso
We have to thank the Arab domination even for this deliciousness. In Messina they are called Sfinci di riso, but they have the same ingredients as its variant in Catania. They are rice fritters, served with honey and icing sugar and sometimes cinnamon. You can find them in fry shops, in lounge bars and in Catania in the crispellerie, which sell only crispelle.
10. Horse meat
The horse meat sandwich is the principal Catania street food. People from Catania usually have dinner with it, when they go out with friends. If you are in Catania and you want to try horse meat, you must absolutely go to Via Plebiscito, the folk symbol of this city.
It was not easy to make this list, because in Sicily we have plenty of specialties and that is why we dedicated a whole tour to the Catania street food.
In Sicily, food represents tradition and it is also a symbol of culture. During your holiday in Sicily, you can have breakfast with granita, have lunch with tavola calda, while walking through the streets of the Baroque and have dinner with pani cunzatu and meat.