No wonder the area has such fine food. History and geography have bequeathed this island a culinary tradition which draws on entrees from the ancient Greeks, Normans and Arabs, and from as far away as Greece, Spain, the Middle East and North Africa. To that may be added a plethora of ingredients which is outstanding even by Italian standards, the fruits of a teeming sea and a fertile land.
Therefore, seafood and fish are superb – particularly sardines, tuna, anchovies, clams, prawns, and swordfish – and oftentimes better than meat, with exceptions being lamb (agnello) in spring, as well as pork from pigs that are raised inside the Madonie mountains alongside the north coast (additionally the source of ricotta, caciocavallo, as well as additional fine sheep’s cheeses).
Vegetables like aubergine oftentimes take the place of meat (at one time too pricey for most Sicilians) in pasta and additional dishes that typically get an extra culinary punch from capers, raisins, garlic, seeds, and herbs. Pulses and beans like lentils, fava, and chickpeas also are commonplace, as are nuts (especially Bronte on Mount Etna’s pistachios), as well as citrus fruits (the area grows the majority of Europe’s blood oranges).
Wines of Sicily
One exciting aspect of a gastronomic visit to Sicily is the opportunity to see the revolution taking place inside the island’s industry of wine. At one time, Sicily was well-known for quantity instead of quality, making strong vini da taglio which were created in bulk then sent to be “cut” with wines inside France to increase their color.
Though, currently, Sicily’s natural benefits for wine-making were matched by progressive techniques. Traditional white grapes of Sicily were blended with sauvignon Blanc, chardonnay and occasional viognier. Much of the same has occurred with its reds, Sicily’s traditional red grape, its syrah-like Nero d’Avola, combined with cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, and merlot.
Marsala, among sweet wines, acquired a bad name; however, the dessert wines of the Aeolian Islands and volcanic Pantelleria often are outstanding: Moscato Passito di Pantelleria and Malvasia di Lipari are standouts.
The region of Sicily is on our list of Italy food and wine tours. Book yours with us today!