There’s plenty of specialties and places to eat in Sicily: from Palermo with its street food, to San Vito lo Capo and its cous cous, from desserts to pasta, you’re just spoiled for choice!
If you want to witness first hand the authentic taste of Sicily, you just have to plan your next trip: look for low cost flight, book cheap accommodation on Sicily Holiday Finder and… enjoy it sicilian way!
Let’s try to select 8 things to eat, but I’m sure that once there… 100 would be a more realistic number!
Parmigiana di Melanzane (Eggplant Parmesan)
The origins are still unclear. From Naples to Parma, everybody claims it.
It is made with a filling of eggplant, deep fried, then covered with tomato sauce and cheese, flavored and decorated with fresh basil leaves. The slices are overlapped, placed in a baking dish and baked au gratin.
Cannolo with ricotta cheese
The sicilian cannoli have ancient origins. The cannolo probably was born in Caltanissetta, centre Sicily, during the arab domination: women of the harem invented the dessert as vaguely phallic tribute to their men. Anyway, the original recipe wants the cannolo to be filled with ricotta cheese: don’t trust those who offer cannoli with chocolate cream!
Sarde a beccafico (Beccafico sardines)
It is a typical sicilian, more palermitan, dish. Sardines are wrapped around a mixtute of breadcrumbs, minced garlic, raisins, onion, chopped parsley, pine nuts, salt, pepper and olive oil. It can be served as both appetizer or second course.
Similar to marzipan, it is made of ground almonds, sugar, cooking oil and beaten eggs, and heavy cream. The delicious sweets are prepared all over Sicily, and you can find them not only in pastry shop, but also in bakeries. The best ones? Probably in Erice, a delightful medieval village in the province of Trapani.
Pane con Panelle e cazzilli (Bread with panelle and cazzilli)
That’s kind of hot dog in United States. The typical snack or street food, especially in Palermo.
The Panelle are made from gram flour and parsley, with a particular preparation. This kind of sicilian fritters are usually eaten in the “mafalde” (a sort of white bread) that are buns with sesame seeds, with a few drops of lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
They are often accompanied by “cazzilli“, fried potatoes croquettes with parsley, sometimes put together in the same sandwich!
Although it is a typical easter cake, you can find pastry shops in all of Sicily and during all periods of the year. Among sicilian sweets and cakes, cassata is the most known, loved and exported all over the world. What is most striking about this cake, is the opulent decoration that is reminiscent of the typical Sicilian Baroque architecture and, of course, the taste!
Granita di mandorle e pistacchio con Brioches (almond and pistacchio granita with brioches)
If you visit Sicily in summer, you gotta to have breakfast with granita and brioche.
Sicilian breakfast in summer is not “cornetto & cappuccino” (not even in winter, ’cause they use to eat more than a single croissant…). Anyway, granita can be found with many tastes: the classic ones are lemon and almond, but definitely terrific are pistacchio in eastern Sicily and mulberry in western, especially Palermo!
Ok, let’s make it clear: it is not arancinO, it is arancinA! It is female, don’t call it as it were male, especially in the area of Palermo, or they will get crazy!
Fried rice balls with ragù (meat sauce) or hum&mozzarella cheese, the arancina is definitely a must in Sicily. The name derives from its shape, recalling an orange (the italian word is arancia, then a little arancia is an arancina).