There’s a lot to like about Sicily. Pristine beaches with turquoise waters perfect for swimming in; ancient architecture steeped in some of the Mediterranean’s richest history; towering volcanoes rising out of beautiful countryside and a relaxed way of life that makes you want to turn any visit to the island into a permanent holiday. But of course, as with most of Italy, the main attraction is the local food scene.
Sicilian cuisine is incredibly unique – while much of it is clearly Italian (there’s plenty of pastas, olive oils, wines and seafood) there are some commonly used ingredients that clearly stand out. Raisins and saffron crop up in the island’s most famous dishes, and cooking techniques differ from those found on the mainland. Sicily has been conquered by a whole host of different nations over the years, including the Phoenicians of North Africa, the Islamic Moors, Greeks, Romans, Normans and Spanish, among others. By the time the island joined the Kingdom of Italy in 1861, the local culture (and food) was so heavily influenced by its past that it was always going to stand out.
Today, Sicily is one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations, and it’s the food that keeps people coming back year after year. Soaking up the scenery and eating some of the best food in Europe – what’s not to like? If you’re wondering which dishes you should try to get a true taste of the local cuisine while you’re there, make a note of the ones listed below and get ready to enjoy a sun-drenched, flavour-filled, history-steeped holiday.