Sicily has a very long tradition of producing a variety of noted cuisines and wines, and food plays a very important role in the island’s culture.
While many elements of the cuisine are common with other regions of southern Italy (like pasta, olive oil, bread), Sicily has very peculiar food ingredients that make it one of the richest Italian regions.
Fruit and Vegetables
This richness in taste and ingredients is due to many factors: Sicily is a very fertile land, with many plantations that goes from Oranges and Lemons (mostly in the east coast, from Messina to Syracuse), to olive oil and wines (Valle del Belice in Trapani, Agrigento province, Mt.Etna, Ragusa province, and other islands like Pantelleria), wheat, but also aubergines, broccoli, tomatoes, artichokes, onions, beans, or fruits like cantaloupe melon, apricots, prunes, apples, prickly pears and much more.
Meat dishes and cheese
Goose, goat, rabbit, turkey, lamb and pork are common in all the internal part of the island, and Sicily produces a wide range of salami, ham, mortadella: almost every village in the mountains of Nebrodi, Madonie, Peloritani and Mount Etna has his special meat dish and ham or salami. Cheese is also very common: pecorino, caciovallo and mozzarella.
Fish and Sea Food
Fish and sea food are very common and the island is famous for the many excellent dishes which include these ingredients. Sea bream, sea bass, swordfish, sardines, tuna, cuttlefish, octopus, calamari, shrimps and prawns, mussils are all very common in all the coast area of Sicily, and can be prepared in different ways; a very simple recipe consists of grilled fresh fish caught from the surrounding coastlines served with salmoriglio, a tasty combination of olive oil, lemon, and parsley.
Sweets are a form of art in Sicily. The island tradition includes elements from the Arab cuisine, and is famous for specialities as Cannoli, a tube-shaped shell of fried pastry dough filled with a sweet filling usually containing ricotta cheese, the Almond Cookies (or Paste di Mandorla), or the Granita, a semi-frozen dessert of sugar, water, and flavorings (fruit or chocolate, coffee). Honey and pistachio are very used, together with chocolate, ricotta, fruit jams.
All the ingredients are produced in the island, which is extremely rich in flavours and different tastes.
Honey and jams are produced in many parts of the island, as for example the Mt.Etna. Honey comes in different flavous like lemon, orange, chestnut. Fruit jams include apples, pears, prickly pears and many other flavours. Organic products are very common and easily available.
Sicilian Prickly Pears jam produced by Terrenere
Organic orange honey produced in Mt.Etna