Typical Sicilian wine and food. A fantastic travel destination for all seasons and all tastes. Where the landscape of nature changes into subdued views shaped by mankind. Testimony to an art and history going back in time to almost three thousand years with Greek archeological sites scattered in the east and west, and not least the splendour of the Sicilian baroque. You can go to the seaside then on leaving the beach, after a few kilometres you can reach wild woodland or Mount Etna, the great volcano that dominates Catania and all of the east coast …
Sicily has everything to see, while you are travelling and admiring its beauty, stop and taste the speciality of the local food, delicacies that in some cases have gone beyond the boundaries of this island and have become symbols. Like the “cassata” and the “cannolo”, made from almonds and pistachios, brought to Sicily by other Mediterranean populations, giving their best to Sicily. If you want something for breakfast, why not try an almond “granita”, which in the hot summer months goes down really well, and will leave you with all the energy necessary to face your day.
The city markets are a good way of getting to know the flavours of Sicily, in Palermo alone there are three, all different and one better than the other: Ballarò, La Vuccirià and the Mercato del Capo. The fish market of Catania is certainly not to be shrugged at, it is situated in the centre of the city and here it’s not only fish! In fact, concentrated in a very small space, you will find everything necessary for the kitchen, you will be intoxicated by its colours and aromas. From the small hours of the morning in the market you can find the best local food to prepare and set on the table, and great street food, a convenient alternative if you don’t want to spend time in the kitchen. The Sicilian street food is so well liked that it is moving from the island in the conquest of Italians in the world. Some examples? “Arancine” of rice in different shapes, “panelle”, “cunzato” bread, bread with “meusa”, “sfincione”.
There is a certainty about food in Sicily: you eat late, and not only street food, wherever, you eat a lot and well. Therefore take it easy and make sure that every plate will be a tasteful experience. After being revived with great street food take time to eat out in a typical restaurant. By day you will have easily seen the grain fields, olive trees and vineyards, all that you can find on the kitchen table, starting with the excellent Sicilian wines and oils. Begin the evening with an aperitif and make a toast with a glass of wine, you can indulge yourself with the international vines that have found fertile soil like Syrah and Chardonnay. If you are curious however choose between the numerous local wine varieties that have given life to about thirty DOC and IGT wines, like Grillo, Cataratto and Inzolia among the whites , and morgano the reds the famous Nero d’Avola, il frappato, the Nerello mascalese a base for Etna rosso.
Spumante, or “ Sicilian bubbly” , has reached important heights in the last few years. Some classic dishes of Sicilian cooking are “caponata” and “couscous”, pasta “alla norma”, aubergines and stuffed sardines. In every city you can find these dishes served in different ways, together with the specialities of the local areas. Don’t forget the sweet wines that go down well after a meal, or at any time for that matter, a passito from Pantelleria or a Malvasia from Lipari ………….
Vegetable products such as the late mandarin oranges from Ciaulli and almonds from Noto and even black bread from Castelvetrano. And then, onions, beans, broad beans, lentils. Breeds in distinction like the modicana cow and the black swine from Nebrodi, products made from animals like “provola” of the Madonie mountains, or the “Vastedda” from the Belice valley. My advice is always to taste the products from their place of origin, go and see where they come from and how they are made, knowing that if we take them home with us they will never have the same taste as that of the place where they came from, Sicily where the food is history and tradition.