5 Specialties you Must Try in Sicily
Sicily…largest island of Italy, with a culture, dialect and lifestyle all its own from that of its Italian neighbor. This place truly embodies the culture of the South- if you ask for directions, the Sicilian you asked for directions will probably walk you where you’re going, dazzle you with his warm smile and invite you for dinner, which you should definitely accept because Sicilian cuisine is second to absolutely none. Here are 5 specialties of the region that absolutely cannot be missed if you visit Sicily:
Arancini You’ll see these fried balls of rice everywhere, from fancy restaurants to corner shops, but you simply can’t go wrong ordering one. The creamy risotto rice is mixed with meat, cheese, peas, or other fillings then breaded and fried to a perfect golden brown. They’re about the size of a small orange, which is actually where they get their name (arancia!)
Frutti di Mare Where better to eat the Fruit of the Sea in Italy than the place surrounded by it? Sicily’s intense sunshine and rich soil produces delicious, robust tomatoes and herbs that create unbeatable pasta and seafood dishes- and frutti di mare combines all of these! Everyday, the fishing ports in Sicily bring in loads of shrimp, scallops, tuna, squid, and all varieties of fish and shellfish that you must enjoy atop a bed of perfectly cooked pasta with garlic, tomato sauce and olive oil…
Cannoli I learned that cannoli (plural; one is cannolo, but who eats only one?!) originated in Palermo, the city I visited on my Sicilian adventure. This pastry is iconic of Sicily, and consists of a crispy shell wrapped around a cream filling that’s amazingly rich and light all at the same time. The textures are so fascinating in fact, that you simply must go back for another…and another…
Gelato e Brioche If you’re anything near as big a gelato fiend as I am, this Sicilian specialty will absolutely blow your mind. I’m pretty sure I stared open-mouthed for a good 5 minutes at the people ordering this dream before I could possibly make a decision about what flavors of creamy gelato to stuff in the massive, slightly sweet brioche bun. (cookies and hazelnut tops my list, then pistachio and caramel!) Gelato inside a massive sweet bread roll might be the ultimate indulgence elsewhere…but indulgence is a way of life in Sicily, and you’ll see proper businesspeople walking around with their gelato e brioche enjoying life in that way that Sicilians do!
Pasta Reale Yet another sweet, the marzipan or almond paste is shaped and meticulously painted into such shapes as mini-fruits and vegetables, or really any food you can think of! The Sicilians are the masters of marzipan and you will see this treat lining the shop windows all over the towns. It’s incredibly sweet, so you won’t want to eat too much- but they’re too adorable not to try at least once!