What comes to mind when you think of Sicily? Lemons, Cannoli and of course the infamous M word!
But oh.my.god.does Sicily do it´s food good. Real good. One thing I learnt are that the Sicilian people really love their sweets, and of course their Ricotta. They even got me on the Ricotta part. Sicily´s cuisine has a big mix from different countries due to it´s location in the Mediterranean. On the Island you find a cuisine influenced by French, Arabic and North African settlers.
Lately the Sicilians also have become really good on their wine production. And good wine should always be accompanied by good food, or was it the other way around? The hearty red Nero D´avola are Sicily´s very own grape along with a few others and they make for really really good wine. Joining in on Assovini Sicilia this year really open my eyes to this region.
My Journey startet late at the Hotel **** just outside of Catania. I stayed here for a night and arrived really late in the evening after a full day of flying and delays. I was super hungry upon arrival and oh so happy when the hotel arranged a feast of a dinner served at my room.
The next day I went off to explore the region of Caltanisetta. And Sicilians do not leave you hungry, that is a fact.
After snacking all day long and a late departure toward Caltanisetta we had another late dinner. This time at the wonderful restaurant 900. Oh.My.God… yet another feast. The restaurant, a little hidden down a hill. They experiment with local and Sicilian food but make them with a modern twist. Fantastic food and I am sorry to say that I was beyond stuffed when the meal was all done.
A new favourite of antipasti´s are the Panelle Siciliane. Oh yummy. I think I could devour a full meal of these delicious treats and still not tire of them. Here seen together with several other great Sicilian antipasti served at the vineyard of Feudo Principi De Butera.
If you plan to go on a diet, go to Sicily first! (you can always diet later)
I found this saying online and it is oh so true. There are simply no diet in Sicily! A lot of their food are fried as seen above here. And even the ricotta cheese are full of powdered sugar. So prepare to put on a couple of pounds. But it is so worth it. And yummy food are always a big part of a travel. At least for me.
Strictly speaking, an Italian meal does not end with desert but with coffee and maybe an digestivo. And if you really want to go the Italian way you never drink a cappuccino after breakfast. Then it is all about the espresso!
While in Sicily do try to visit a market or two. They are great fun and the abundance of fresh food are so delightful to see and colourful to. I got the chance to visit the market in Catania.
But let´s take a step back to the Ricotta. This is a cheese you find everywhere on Sicily in any form. Apertivo, Segundo, dinner and dessert.
Ricotta are made from sheep milk and it literally means cooked twice. You could easily make this yours self at home and after it has been cooked you drain it and leave it overnight in you fridge.
I came to Sicily not really being a fan of the Ricotta. But during my stay I slowly got to like it. There is various taste and coarseness in the cheese. But visiting Sicily you simply can not avoid a dish or most likely several including Ricotta in some form.
Have I missed any typical Sicilian dish?
I know there are several more. Like the breast of the madonna. A marzipan covered small cake. My feast lasted for a week and I was full from the day I landed to the day I left. I tried and tested many new things. even had the pleasure of visiting the lovely Relais Monaci Delle Terre nere where I had a lovely dinner with new friends and when you are made to lick your plate then it is all good.