5 Foods You Can’t Leave Sicily Without Trying
Italians cook well. That’s a fact that no one can deny. If you know someone who doesn’t like pizza, carbonara, panna cotta, tiramisu, bolognese, gelato or lasagna, let me know because I don’t know any (and sincerely don’t even want to because I’m sure a person like that is a terrible influence). As Italians, Sicilians are also great cookers. Because Sicily is located right in the center of the Mediteranean Sea, the external influences are evident on its cuisine, making it very diverse and colourful. Because there are hundreds of Sicilian traditional foods to try, I’m here to reveal the five ones you can’t leave the island without trying at least once. Shall we?
There is no better Sicilian food to quick off this list than Arancino, Palermo’s most popular street food and pherhaps the most famous of all the foods listed here. Arancino is a stuffed rice ball which is coated with bread crumbs before being deep fried. The traditional version of Arancino is filled with Ragù, meat and tomato sause, however, in he past few years, the vegetarian version has gained equal popularity. In all sincerity, I don’t like Arancino that much. I find it just too heavy. But, hey, in Sicily you gotta do like the Sicilians, what means that there are no excuses not to give it a try, as least just a bite.
Cioccolato di Modica
Cioccolato di Modica, what means Modica Chocolate is an unique type of chocolate produced according to the aztec traditional techniques, which were brought to southern Sicily and more specifically to the town of Modica by the spaniards when they ruled the island. The result is a delicious chocolate with a peculiar but very interesting grainy texture. There are thousands of flavours to try and, in the chocolate shops of Modica, you can taste all of them for free before buying your favorites. Bonajuto is the oldest one of them all but my favorite one was the nearby Rizza. Make sure you check both and then tell me which of them you liked the most!
Indian Figs exist all over the world, however, before visiting Sicily this summer, I even didn’t knew these peculiar fruits existed. Their high popularity among Sicilians and their evident exoticism made me include them on this list. If, during your trip to Sicily, you will get off Palermo and explore countryside areas, you don’t even have to spend money on them. Their trees are all over the place and you can collect the figs directly from them. But be careful (and not as dumb as I was) because they have hundreds of tiny and fine spikes that can cause some pain and a lot of discomfort.
Frutta di Martorana
Frutta di Martorana, which means Martorana Fruits, are cute colourful marzipan sweets with the shape of fruits and vegetables, which were created by the nuns of Martorana Monastery to adorn and beautify the empty trees of their monastery during the visit of an important guest. Some people say the guest was a king while others say he was an archbishop or even the pope but what matters is that a new delight was born! Palermo, where it was created, is the best place to give it a try!
Being my favorite of the list, I decided to save Cannolo for last. On a nutshell, it’s a crunchy fried pastry dough with the shape of a tube containing a delicious creamy filling of sugary ricotta with chocolate chips or pistachio. It’s to die for! Going to Sicily and not eating a Cannolo (or a bunch of them) is an unforgivable sin!
Have you ever been in Sicily? Which of the foods above you think looks the best?