A Wine and Food Holiday in Sicily

There’s a chill in the air and the leaves are starting to change colors. Autumn has come but who said that the holidays are over? Sicily is known to be a place where you can holiday anytime in the year. A gastronomic adventure in Sicily is perhaps a never-ending adventure. It’s not just about eating pizza and pasta as is the normal impression when talking of Italy. There is a cultural identity and unique heritage of the food in this Mediterranean island brought about by the many influences of other nations. If you are planning your next holiday in Sicily, sites such as Wishsicily can give you a wild selection of villas to rent that will make your way to Sicily to walk among age-old architectural treasures and sit back to enjoy the island’s delicious cuisine and wines.

In Palermo, you will be taken by the intense aromas of typical Sicilian cooking but you should try the characteristic regional dishes such as Pasta con le Sarde. This is usually a first course dish made with wild fennel, fresh sardines, anchovies, saffron, sultanas and pine-nuts. Order a plate of Caponata which is made up of fried eggplants seasoned with sweet balsamic vinegar, capers, pine nuts and raisins. It can go well as a side dish or as the main dish itself.

You can also snack on Panelle which is typical of Palermo. This is rectangular in shape and is basically made with chickpea flour, salt, pepper and parsley. Then, it is fried in vegetable oil and served hot. You can find them on the streets or when you visit the open air markets such as the Capo and Ballaro. While strolling around the city, munch some sfincione which is a kind of pizza topped with tomato, anchovies and onion. If you’re that adventurous, try a spleen-filled sandwich called pani c’a meusa!

Panelle

Panelle

In eastern Sicily, specifically Catania, Pasta alla Norma is a popular dish which uses fresh eggplants, tomatoes, basil and ricotta salata. You can pair it with a glass or two of Saia, made from Nero d’Avola grapes. This wine has a clean and fresh, nicely-layered notes of citron and hint of soil with bright red, blueberry and chocolate aromas. It has a good balance and is full-bodied with lots of character. If you are into wines, you can join wine tours to give you that thrilling experience of learning and tasting the varied wines of the island. There’s Moscato in Siracusa and Noto, Marsala in Marsala, Malvasia near Messina and other varieties worth knowing.

When visiting the Valley of the Temples, you will find some of the world’s best preserved Greek temples as well as a gastronomical experience that speaks of diversity and richness. Coastal areas will serve dishes from freshly-caught fish from the sea such as squid soup in Siculiana Marina, sole fish in Sciacca, sardine meatballs in Licata, and spaghetti and baked red snapper with meat broth in Lampedusa. Inland, pasta comes in varying forms using the freshest ingredients. You will find pasta with artichokes in Menfi, macco soup in Raffadali and Tagano in Aragona. Drop by Santa Margherita Belice for a slice of cassatelle or quadratelli in Canicatti.

Valley of the Temples

Valley of the Temples

For desserts, no one should leave Sicily without trying the famous Cassata. This is a complicated-to-make but delicious pastry made with ricotta cheese, almonds and candied fruit. You can also try frutta martorana or you can opt to bring them home as souvenirs as these colorful marzipan sweets in the form of fruits and vegetables are bursting with calories. For an afternoon snack or for breakfast, Sicilians enjoy granite especially during the hot summer months. Cannolo, a ricotta-filled tube pastry is another delicacy that is meant to be experienced. Moreover, if you happen to be in Ragusa, it is a must to try the different ice cream flavours by Gelati DiVini. You will be surprised they even have olive oil and wine-flavoured ice cream.

For desserts, no one should leave Sicily without trying the famous Cassata. This is a complicated-to-make but delicious pastry made with ricotta cheese, almonds and candied fruit. You can also try frutta martorana or you can opt to bring them home as souvenirs as these colorful marzipan sweets in the form of fruits and vegetables are bursting with calories. For an afternoon snack or for breakfast, Sicilians enjoy granite especially during the hot summer months. Cannolo, a ricotta-filled tube pastry is another delicacy that is meant to be experienced. Moreover, if you happen to be in Ragusa, it is a must to try the different ice cream flavours by Gelati DiVini. You will be surprised they even have olive oil and wine-flavoured ice cream!

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Related post:  6 Great Destinations for a Better Cultural Holiday

Images credit (under CC) by order:  Bert KaufmannPaolo ZacchiDennis Jarvis

 

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