The cuisine of Italy is diverse, in each region there are dishes typical for this region. Sicily is no exception. In Sicily there are dishes that are more popular here than, for example, in Rome, and there are those that are cooked only here and it is almost impossible to find them elsewhere. This is due primarily to the geographical location of Sicily – Spanish, Arabic and Greek culinary traditions influenced its cuisine.
I also recommend my article ” How to plan a vacation in Sicily “
Sicilian cuisine. What to taste
- Street Food in Palermo
Sicily, and especially Palermo, are popular for their street food. And it is the street food here that is unique.
The most popular street food dish (although it is served in cafes and restaurants as a snack) is arancini (arancini, which means “oranges” in Italian). It really looks like a little orange. What is an arancini? Arancini is a deep-fried rice balls with a variety of fillings, the most popular of which is meat with tomato sauce and green peas. You can buy arancini in street stalls, in markets, and if you find yourself in Palermo, then go to Ke Palle (Via Terrasanta, 111B | Via Maqueda N. 270, 90141), author’s arancini shop, here they are for every taste – from classic to completely unusual combinations.
Another street dish, the most common in Palermo, is the panelle , which are cakes of chickpea flour, deep fried. Crocchè – This dish is also available from street vendors in Palermo. Crocchès are balls of mashed potatoes mixed with parsley or mint, salt and pepper. Deep fried too.
Palermo’s calling card is a dish that even sounds scary to me – a spleen sandwich, or panino con la milza. The bun is stuffed with offal – slices of beef spleen, lungs and trachea, then sprinkled with lemon juice and sprinkled with grated cheese.
Of course, as in all of Italy, pasta is popular in Sicily. The most popular Sicilian pasta is pasta alla rate ( Pasta alla norma), the most typical for the region of Catania. It includes tomato paste, fried eggplant slices and salted ricotta, similar to cottage cheese. Pasta alla Palermitana – pasta of the Palermo region – with wild fennel, tomato sauce, sardines, raisins and parmesan. And finally, the exotic Pasta con I ricci – pasta with sea urchins. Do not forget that Sicily is surrounded by the sea, so Pasta with seafood (Con frutti di mare) – In Sicily is also a popular and very tasty dish.
Seafood is, of course, an absolute plus of the island! Seafood is delicious and always the freshest. Mussels (such delicious mussels as I did not eat anywhere in Sicily!), Shrimps, sardines, and different types of fish – be sure to try in Sicily. Swordfish is the most popular fish in Sicily worth a try. However, do not repeat my mistakes, do not order pasta with swordfish to try this very fish. You will not understand the taste, and whether they add the swordfish to your paste is also not a fact. But we saw a swordfish at a passing fisherman in a trailer – she really has such a big nose, like a sword 🙂
- Sweets or dolci
Indeed, the Italians never deny themselves pleasures, this also applies to desserts. And Sicilian desserts are considered the most delicious in Italy, and not by chance.
Canolli – wafer rolls filled with cream from mascarpone cheese or ricotta with the addition of syrup, berries or fruits.
Cassata – a traditional sweetness native to Palermo, is a cake with candied fruit and topped with marzipans and other decorations. It also happens in the form of cassatina cakes.
Granita – in short, it is crushed fruit ice with sugar. There is chocolate granite in Catania, and according to some reports, you can try it only here.
Gelato ( gelato) – Italian ice cream. It is considered that the most delicious gelato in Sicily. Having tried at least once, you will not want to argue about this.
Torroncini – sweets with nougat and pistachios.
Marzipan fruits (frutta di martoran) are also very common in Sicily. By the way, for the first time they were produced by the nuns of the female monastery in Palermo – Martorana, from here they got their name. In Palermo they can be bought in any store or shop of national products.
Pignoli – cookies, popular in the south of Italy, is made from almond dough and pine nuts. Especially popular at Christmas.
Pinolata ( or Sicilian pignulata ) – a pyramid of small pieces of dough, deep-fried. Half of the pyramid is poured with chocolate, and the second is sprinkled with powdered sugar. Pinolata’s birthplace is Messina
Buccellato – a round cake, which includes fruits and nuts.
And of course, do not forget about the fruits, which are so many in Sicily. Be sure to try Sicilian red orange – this only happens in Sicily. Ordinary oranges here are also incredibly sweet. Strawberries, melons, watermelons, peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries – all of this is plentiful in Sicily!
How much does food cost in Sicily
Food prices in Sicily , in my observation, are slightly lower than on the mainland, especially in Rome.
So, dinner in a restaurant for two will cost you from 25 euros with wine. For 35 euros you can get a very substantial dinner with several seafood dishes.
Due to the wide spread of street food in Sicily, you can save a lot. So, for example, an arancini costs 2-3 euros , and it is very satisfying, a piece of delicious pizza will cost from 1.5 to 3 euros , and Sicilian sweets – canolly, cassata, etc. – from 1.5 to 3 euros.
Eat pasta with a seafood possible for Euro 8 , and huge plate soup, mussels (Zuppa di cozze) for 9 euros . For more information on food prices in Sicily, see the article Sicily Prices .
Sicilian cuisine is unique, if you come here, be sure to try at least some of the listed dishes.
Have questions, or what to add? Perhaps you tried something incredibly tasty and unusual? Please share in the comments! And please like the post if you really liked it:)