Dishes you must eat in Sicily

photo by CC user Paoletta S. on Flickr

There are many amazing regions to visit in Italy. However, few appeal so strongly to foodies than the island of Sicily.

Representing the soccer ball on a map of Italy, the culture of this corner of the nation is strong, and needs to be experienced first hand to appreciate it properly.

With that in mind, here are several dishes you must eat in Sicily…

1) Arancini

When you are walking the streets of popular Sicilian centres such as Palmero and Messina, keep your eye out for Arancini, as it is a popular street food that will prime your appetite for the more elaborate meals that are to come.

Arancini are stuffed rice balls that are covered in breadcrumbs, and then deep-fried. The filling varies from place to place, but it usually is filled with cheese, peas, and meat/tomato sauce. Be warned though: its hard to eat just one!

2) Caponata

When you are seated at a local restaurant later, and you are looking for a starter that will bridge the gap between the present moment and the main course, be sure to break up the indecision of your group by going with the Caponata.

While it may not agree with those that aren’t into seafood, if you are having a seafood main, it pairs perfectly, as this eggplant salad includes capers, olives, carrots, bell peppers, and raisins among other ingredients, and it is all brought together by a delectable sweet and sour sauce that will have yopu savouring every last bite.

3) Pasta alla Norma

When people think of Italy and Sicily, they often think of pasta. This country does this dish a myriad of different ways, and Sicily is no different. Pasta alla Norma is this island’s contribution to the Italian culinary mosaic, and it shines with its blend of tomatoes, eggplant, ricotta cheese, and basil.

Most prominent restaurants in the more touristed parts of the island will have this version of pasta on their menus, so seek it out and take your time with this masterpiece, as it will put your spag cooking skills to shame.

4) Cassata

As if you weren’t getting tight enough around the waistline, Sicily finds a way to tempt you with desserts that you simply couldn’t say no to if you tried.

Cassata tends to have that effect on people, as its marzipan and icing coated exterior hides a liqueur soaked pound cake that is layered with ricotta cheese and or chocolate/vanilla cream. Forget about that no carb diet you’re on – you’re on vacation, for crying out loud.

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