Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Celebrated Dishes of Sicily

September 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Guide

Sicily, the southernmost region of Italy, has long been known as a popular tourist destination for Italians and foreigners alike. Though many visit Sicily only for its beaches, architecture, or archaeological sites, food has also always played a part in the attraction of visitors. Sicilian cuisine has also been influenced by many cultures for centuries, and the typical dishes of some regions show distinct characteristics of Greek, North African, and Spanish food traditions. If you are considering visiting Sicily for the first time as a tourist, purchasing a Sicily travel guide will help you to explore all that the Sicilian food culture has to offer.

Sicilian food has become famous for its use of fresh, raw ingredients to create amazing savoury dishes at a low cost. Major agricultural exports include olives and olive oil, citrus fruits, wine, grapes, and pistachios. All of these are, in turn are used quite widely in Sicilian cooking. Artichokes and beans are also common, and fresh seafood is present in the majority of meals, especially the tuna, swordfish, sea bass, and sardines that can be caught near the island’s shores.

Rabbit, lamb, and goose, however, can also be found in the specialties of certain regions. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, pine nuts, and saffron are used to flavour many foods, and apricots, eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes often play key roles in meals since being introduced to Sicily by visitors hundreds of years ago.

Pasta dishes are as important in Sicily as they are in much of the rest of the nation’s food, as is cheese. Pastas in Sicily are often paired with seafood or fresh vegetables, and rice is also used in some recipes. One particularly popular rice dish is arancini, which consists of balls of rice that are stuffed with cheese, meat, or tomato sauce, and then breaded and fried. Spaghetti alla Siracusana, pasta al nero di seppia, and pasta con le sarde are fairly widespread pasta and seafood combinations.

In some regions of Sicily, couscous is also eaten frequently, demonstrating the early Arab influences on the island’s cuisine. Traditional vegetarian dishes, such as pasta alla norma, involtini di melanzane, and maccu di favi are also popular, as is panelle di ciciri, a delicious thin pancake or crepe made from chickpea flour.

Perhaps the most famous contribution of Sicily to the culinary world is the variety of desserts commonly eaten on the island. Cannolis are the typical example, but other popular desserts include frutta martorana and cassatas.

No matter what your preference, you’re sure to find delightful options to suit your palate in Sicily, so get ready to find flights to Italy and begin your adventure!

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