Sicily Regional & Local Sicilian Cuisine

In Sicily you'll be surprised that your "Pasta al Pesto" is red, and not green! And you will be even more surprised that you have never heard of the dishes on the menus - considering the fact that you are in Italy.

Sicilian cooking is blending simple peasant ingredients, wild herbs, the pick of the garden, the catch of the sea or what was being hunted, with northern and Arab techniques. The best example is Pasta con le Sarde: pasta with a sauce made of sardines, raisins, pine nuts, fennel, saffron, parsley and capers, its origins go all the way back to the Phoenicians. Swordfish and tuna dishes abound, especially in May and June.  If you stumble upon "Zuppa di Pesce Stocco" (stockfish soup) - TRY IT! Most glorious is the Sicilian tooth when it's sweet! Granita for breakfast, cannoli with sweet ricotta, pistachio or vanilla cream, cassata, cakes, pies, almond pastries, sorbets and ice cream for dessert. The local cuisine depends on where you are, at the seaside restaurants focus on seafood, in or near the mountains, hearty meat dishes play the main role. Sicilian cuisine, both traditional and innovative, has nothing in common with the greasy food you are served in some old fashioned Italian restaurants in other countries.