The last but not the least is the gastronomic itinerary through the Sicilian cookery (changing from province to province, from village to village according to the different local interpretations); an itinerary meant to be really tasted and savoured: in the freshness and variety of fish (pasta with pilchard and selvatic fennel, bundles of breaded swordfish, filled up sardines, couscous); in the fantasy and originality of popular recipes ( “pasta ‘ncaciata” /pasta with cheese, “stigghiole” /roasted entrails of lamb, “panelle” /croquettes made up of chick-peas and fried, “arancini” /fried rice balls filled in basically with butter and ham or with ragout); in the chromatic brightness of the dishes ( “pasta alla norma” /pasta with baked and then grated butter-milk curd, tomato sauce and fried eggplants, “caponata” /peculiar vegetables salad); in the wide range of the flavours and in the genuineness of the ingredients and their preparing ( “farsumagru” /big roll of browned calf meat filled in, “aggrassatu” /big roll of roasted lamb filled in); in the handicraftness and excellence of the sweets ( “cassata” /cake with of butter-milk curd cream, candied fruit and a lot of sugar, “cannoli” /fancy cakes filled in with fresh butter-milk curd cream or chocolate cream, “granite” /grated-ice fruit flavoured drinks, “pasticciotti” /a kind of pastries, “frutta martorana” /almond-paste based and usually fruit-shaped pastries, “pignolata” /pine-seeds based type of sweets, “buccellati” /biscuits filled in with figs and candied fruit); all this – and much more – is the secret kept inside the Sicilian culinary art which is undoubtedly well-deserving of unquestionable honours.
For the proselytes of Bacco (god of the wine)… it is inevitable going for a tour marked by the ever growing wine-culture seal – through the lanes between vineyards and rural farms with their wine-cellars – in order to sample the most famous Sicilian wines in review: il Marsala, il Moscato, il Nero d’Avola, il Cerasuolo di Vittoria, il Bianco d’Alcamo, la Malvasia di Lipari, il Passito di 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.