Many people choosing to stay in Sicily, rentals while on their holidays on this beautiful island do so because they want to be independent – to see what they want, when they want and enjoy exploring the local culture and cuisine in their own time. But what exactly does the cuisine of Sicily offer the visitor of food tour? Read on to find out more and discover some of the delicacies you can buy to reproduce an authentic feast back home in your Sicilian rentals.
What to Eat in Sicily
The choice of delicacies on the Sicily is nothing short of overwhelming. There is so much to choose from and, thanks to the fact that so many different occupiers through the ages have influenced the history, the cuisine is varied and diverse. Coupled with the fact that the land is incredibly fertile and the climate is near perfect for producing fruit and vegetables, it is no wonder that the menus in the local restaurants are as wonderful as they are.
‘Arancini‘ are one of the island’s most famous street foods, and these fried rice balls stuffed with meat or mozzarella are definitely worth a try.
If you’re looking for a little street food snack to replenish yourself while out sightseeing, you could also indulge in the ‘pane e panelle‘, which are chickpea fritters served in bread, a little like a sandwich. (Palermo is the place to try the best variety of these.)
For something a little more substantial, why not try some of the island’s incredible range of seafood? The pickings from the abundant seas that surround Sicily are rich and plentiful. ‘Spaghetti ai ricci‘, is pasta with sea urchins; this is one of the simplest dishes but it is unbelievably delicious. It can be quite expensive, however, as it uses at least 15 sea urchins in each portion. This is one you should try when you eat out in a restaurant, rather than try to reproduce it back home in the kitchen of your Sicilian rentals – its preparation is best left to the professionals.
Other popular pasta in Sicily dishes include ‘pasta al pesto pistacchi‘, which is pasta with a delicious pistachio pesto, using locally grown nuts; ‘pasta con le sarde‘, the popular dish that is made with sardines, fennel, saffron and pine nuts; and the ‘pasta alla Norma‘, a delicious pasta with rich tomato and aubergine sauce topped with salted ricotta.
The island won’t leave you disappointed with dessert offerings either! Cassata Siciliana is a soft, airy sponge cake soaked in liquor, layered with sweet ricotta and covered in almond paste, icing and candied fruits. It is very sweet and intense in flavour and is packed with local ingredients. Cannoli is another dessert speciality that you will also find eaten at coffee time. The tube of fried dough filled with billowing ricotta is often topped with chocolate chips, candied fruit or nuts.
No matter which area of the island you decided to base yourself, Sicilian rentals are bound to be located close to great markets, restaurants and little towns where all of the above gastronomic offerings, plus many more, can be enjoyed.
Helen Forbes is from Essential Italy, a company specialising in Italian holiday villas, apartments and hotels. If you’re looking for the perfect Sicilian rentals we can help. Our handpicked villas offer distinctive Italian qualities, great comfort and convenience.
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