If I would say that I don’t like to eat .. well that would be a really really big lie, I love food and it is one of my favourite things about travelling. My parents meeting each other in Sicily, my mom eating pizza and gelato in Naples while pregnant with me, are just some of the reasons I give to myself to explain why I love Italy and especially their food so much. So prior to my trip to Palermo and Castellammare del Golfo in Sicily, I obviously had to do some research about what their specialities are and what I would have to eat while there. Here is what I found:
Pasta con le sarde; bucatini with sardines, anchovy as well as olive oil and onions. It is one of the dishes you have to try when in Palermo.
Pasta al nero di seppia; which is pasta with squid ink sauce and it is black. It is kind of weird to see this pasta with the black sauce arriving at your table as it is unusual. At least I have never seen it before. It was so good, my mum bought some squid ink to bring it back home and try to cook it at home.
Arancino; stuffed rice balls covered with bread crumbs and then deep fried. The most popular one is with meat, tomato sauce, mozzarella and peas but there are also veggie ones with funghi (mushrooms) or melanzane (aubergine). There are even little snacks where they mainly have arancini with loads of different flavours and even sweet ones. I absolutely love it and it is a perfect little meal for when you are on the way or to have while sitting outside in the sun.
Pasta alla norma; usually macaroni is used sometimes penne. Add tomatoes, aubergine, grated ricotta and basil. These are some of my favourite foods/ingredients! And a nice and easy recipe to bring back home after your holiday.
Panella; it does look a bit like tofu but is made out of chickpea flour. Eaten in bread, we had it as a started with loads of other things. I loved it!
Caponata; which I would describe as kind of a Sicilian ratatouille, with eggplant, olives and capers which is actually an antipasto (starter). Olives are another ingredient I really like. Actually, I think I will have to cook this one of these days.
Crocchè di Palermo; this is absolutely amazing! I am no big fan of potatoes but this kind off mashed potato / gnocchi-croquettes mixed with some lemon and fresh mint is absolutely amazing.
Pane Cunzato; this is fresh bread with sardines, cheese and tomato inside. Eating this in a little kiosk on the beach is priceless. It was so good we actually ate it two or three times.
Couscous alla trapanese; as the name says couscous but Trapanese style which is with fish or seafruit. Sicilian cuisine has a lot of Arabian influence, one of the results is this dish.
Pesce e frutti di mare; being an island there is a lot of good and fresh fish as well as seafood. If grilled, as a starter or with pasta, there are loads of different options.
Cassatelle alla Trapanese, I am no fan of ricotta but oh-em-ge. This kind of big sweet fried ravioli sometimes with chocolate pieces inside and dusted with powdered sugar is heaven especially when it is still warm!
Cannolo/cannoli; one of the (I think) most famous desserts from Italy. Cannolo is fried dough in the form of let’s say a rolled cannelloni, filled with a sweet and creamy filling made out of ricotta which can contain vanilla, cacao, chocolate pieces or candied fruit. There are different sizes as well from small to bigger ones.
Cassata, another dessert made with ricotta which I loved, again. It is made out of a fruit juice or liqueur moist cake filled with sweet ricotta and candied fruit surrounded by a green or pink marzipan icing. The one we had was bright green and I have to admit that the colour seemed a bit weird to me. That might sound weird but usually, when the colour of a dessert looks too unnatural I won’t like the taste of it either. To my surprise, I did really like it despite the unnatural colour.
Brioche con gelato; do I even have to say more? I mean we are talking about Italian gelato in a brioche if you like, topped with whipped cream that is just win-win.
Granita; suuuuuper fresh. Reminds me a bit of a slushy but for grown-ups and not in an unnatural colour. It comes in lemon, orange, coffee, strawberry.
Aperol Spritz; a perfect refreshing drink during an aperitivo on a hot summer day. Made with Aperol, prosecco, soda and a slice of orange.
Bitter Rosso; I honestly am not sure if it was called like this or what it was exactly made off. When you go to a bar or restaurant and see someone having a bright red drink that’s the drink I mean and this is how I found out about it as well.
Needless to say that during these 10 days in Sicily I did put on some weight or let’s say, my pants did suddenly fit better at some parts of my body. But if you didn’t put on weight after a holiday in Italy .. were you actually in Italy?
Find out more about Italian food especially in Rome in “Do you only travel for food?” – Rome or about Asian food in The food isn’t that bad here – Cambodia and Ecuadorian food in Lets talk food Ecuador