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The Sicilian cuisine

The kitchen is the perfect amalgam of influences of different cultures that come through the island.
More than just a cultural field is the strongest trait of a culture. The table remains, the place of introspection of various civilizations that have passed the island. An ancient pleasure, if already Plato host to Syracuse, he criticized those citizens guilty in his eyes, "to sit at a table several times a day."

Sicilian cuisine? There are three: the baronial or aristocratic, or the popular spirit of reinvention and the road or "buffittieri" as they called it a time, deriving the name from the French "buffet".

An enormous wealth and variety of dishes as each city, village, family has always had its own interpretation of each recipe, a consequence of strong isolated individual. While "Monsu" great chefs of Families, celebrated palaces, grouper and sole, hares, capons, those below came the wonderful smells or descriptions made by the servants. With imagination and wit these dishes were reinvented with ingredients often miserable. Sardines, boned, assursero the status of sole, "lenguado" in Spanish nobles, was the sole. Thus were born the sardines "speaking". Appropriately coiffured became well "beccafichi, birds like warblers to the" Monsu "served in Bellavista. Disguised themselves eggplants from "quail" and also from "parmiciana" which is the Persian dialect. Nothing to do with Parma and his cheese. And always with the eggplant came the queen of popular cuisine, the "caponata" in a sweet and sour sauce, the original kitchen of the court`s pre-Islamic Iran.

Sicily enjoys a fine tradition of food and wine. All the outside dominations throughout the centuries left their traces in the island`s gastronomy. The Ancient Greeks started producing refined flours and whole grain. They planted the Malvasia and Moscato vines which are still predominant in the island today. The ancient Greeks also seem to have used the snows of Mount Etna to make ices based on fruits and honey, they also introduced the first olive trees.
Sicily became the "granary of the Italic peninsula" during the ancient Roman times and still produces some of the best durum wheat in Italy. Bread and pasta continue to be important to the daily diet, and are of excellent quality.

  • The Romans introduced the fava beans, from which it derives a typical soup called "favi a maccu".
  • Arabs imported rice, sugar and almonds, and while couscous clearly draws origin from the couscous in North Africa, it differs just for the use of fish. Of Arabic derivation also come the two most famous desserts of the island: cassata and sorbetto.
  • The Normans introduced stockfish, to the island`s cuisine.
  • The Angevins, Aragonenses and Bourbons also left their sign. The "farsumagru", a roll of meat with filling, is derived from the French. The Spanish introduced diverse dishes and ingredients such as the pan of Spain, chocolate, tomato and, above all, eggplant. From the fusion of these products and local traditions originated some of the most typical Sicilian recipes we know today: pasta with sardines, caponata, racines, and orange salad.
  • The Sicilian dessert table is a delight for the eyes as well as the palate. Beautiful and delicious desserts include marzipan fruits; ricotta-filled cannoli; spectacular cakes decorated with candied fruits; cookies filled with dried fruits, nuts, and honey; and perhaps the best known dessert, granita, a smooth and refreshing fruit ice.

Some disches

  • Appetizers: Swordfish carpaccio, Tuna fish carpaccio, Seafood salad
  • Chicken: Chicken cacciatore, Chicken breast with saffron and Marsala, Lemon chicken cutlets
  • Fish: Cod sautéed, Sicilian style, Sarde a beccafico (stuffed sardines)
  • Pasta : Bucatini with cauliflower, Bucatini with eggplant, Lasagna, Pasta alla Norma (pasta with eggplants), Pasta with sardines, Tuna and pasta Sicilian style
  • Couscous: Couscous with fish
  • Desserts: Cannoli, Cassata, Ricotta pie
  • Beef: Falsomagro (stuffed beef roll)
  • Snacks: Arancini (Sicilian rice balls) but many others depends which places you visit!!!

Sicily counts more vineyards than any other Italian region and boasts one of Italy`s most progressive wine industries. Noted mainly in the past for strong bulk wines and often sweet Moscato and Marsala, the island has switched its emphasis toward lighter, fruitier white and red wines. Sicily is divided into three main producing wine districts:

  • Trapani province in the west
  • Etna in the east
  • Ragusa on the southern tip

In the last weekend of may it is possible have a free-visit in several wineries around Sicily!

Great sicilian wines

  • Nero D`Avola
    This is the classic Sicilian wine: ruby red in color with intense aromas of vanilla and spice. On the palate it is bursting with bright cherry fruit, balanced acidity and exotic spices. It is produced in the southeastern side of the island, but also in the Palermo province where Duca di Salaparuta is located.
  • Bianco D`Alcamo
    This wine is produced from white catarratto grapes (up to 80%) and damaschino, grecanico, and trebbiano (up to 20%). It is considered the classic Sicilian white; it is fruity to the palate and has a straw-yellow with greenish highlights color.
  • Malvasia
    Made from 85% Malvasia grapes, this sweet wine is made with techniques that have changed little over the centuries. The grapes are gathered when they are extremely ripe. The wine is amber-gold in color with an unusually alcoholic content.
  • Cerasuolo di Vittoria
    Made from 100% Nero d`Avola grapes grown 1,600 feet above sea level. The grapes are fermented for 18 days in temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks and then aged for 4 months in Allier barrique. The wine is ruby red in color with intense aromas of vanilla and spice. On the palate it is bursting with bright cherry flavor, balanced acidity and exotic spices.
  • Passito
    The wine is made from the must of very well ripened grapes, to which are added naturally dried grapes in the sunny and windy climate of Pantelleria. Fermentation at controlled temperature lasts until the end of October.
  • Etna Rosso
    Made from Nerello Mascalese (80%) and Nerello Capuccio (20%), the resulting wine is a pleasant surprise to the palate. Etna Rosso wine combines a rich and warm bouquet with hints of spice and green bell pepper on the nose. In the mouth it is medium-bodied, with a smooth texture, ripe and forward fruit, soft tannins, mild acidity, and a surprisingly long finish.
  • Etna Bianco
    This wine is made from the Carricante and Cataratto grapes and other varieties from Milo. Straw-yellow with green reflexes in color, Etna Bianco wine possesses a fruity aroma and fresh taste.
  • Marsala
    Made with white grapes among others, Marsala wine is characterized by its intense amber color, and its complex aroma that shows hints of strong alcohol flavor. Marsala wines are classified according to their characteristics and the duration of their aging

Some Sicilian Wine Producers
Planeta; Cusumano; Tasca d`Almerita; Tenuta di Donnafugata; Feudo Principi di Butera (Zonin); Morgante; Duca di Salaparuta; Benanti; Palari; Firriato; Marco De Batoli; Salvatore Murana.

A Culinary Tour of Sicily
Sicily is a crossroads of the Mediterranean, so expect hints of exotic spices like saffron and cinnamon paired with local ingredients-lemons, blood oranges, fresh citron, almonds, capers, and wild mountain oregano. Palermo`s markets, located on the northern coast, are reminiscent of an Arabian bazaar, with three-wheeled trucks piled high with produce, vendors hawking goods in sicilian dialect, and street foods for sale (like panelle-fried chickpea flour-gristle sandwiches, and boiled octopus with a squirt of lemon). The Vucceria market draws the most tourists (even if nowdays it is smaller than in the past), so head to Ballaro` or Capo, as the natives do. The market in Catania is also well worth a visit if you`re on the island`s eastern coast. You`ll find swordfish with swords, silvery blue sardines in mounds, live shrimp in shells, and whole hunks of tuna that look more like beef than fish.
Sicily`s western coast (south of Trapani) is decorated with windmills, flamingos, rectangular saltpans, and mounds covered with terra cotta roof tiles. Another Sicilian specialties: capers, caper paste, zibibbo raisins, raisin jelly, and vegetables.


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