The “Street Food” in Sicily, has very ancient origins; in fact, since the Greek era, it was very common to eat in the streets of the cities, which is why the Sicilian culinary tradition is full of quick recipes and it is still possible to find them in the stalls or rotisseries around the cities.
The rotisserie is, therefore, the classic place where you can buy Street Food in Sicily; in the Palermo area, dishes such as bread and panelle are quite common, that is a pancake made with chickpea flour, or bread with the spleen (‘u pani ca meusa), while the tradition of arancini (or arancine), Sicilian pizza by the slice and more generally the rotisserie mignon such as calzoni, sfoglie, cipolline and focaccias of all kinds.
It should also be emphasized that Palermo is considered one of the five best cities in the world as regards street food.
Some of the most famous street foods are:
- The arancini siciliani: that is a cone or a ball of rice generally stuffed with ragù, caciocavallo, and peas, of which however there are numerous variations.
- The calzone
- The cipollina: spread in the Catania area
- The panelle
- The scacce: the classic focaccia made in Ragusa area
- The vastedda: typical Sicilian loaf with variable dimensions ranging from 500 to 1500 grams
There is also a notable tradition in terms of typical appetizers. Among the most famous are the caponata, which consists of a mixture of vegetables (especially aubergines), tomato sauce, olives, capers, celery, carrots, but numerous variations are depending on the place or tradition. Then we have the orange salad, the eggplant parmigiana (a typical traditional dish also in Campania and Calabria), raw anchovies with lemon, roasted vegetables (usually peppers and aubergines, seasoned with oil, salt, mint, and garlic), bruschetta alla siciliana, and others.
When we talk about first courses in Sicily we obviously talk about pasta, as in the rest of the Italian peninsula! Whether it is homemade pasta or packaged dry pasta, Sicilians make extensive use of it in any recipe. From fried pasta to pasta in broth, from dry pasta to baked pasta, from pasta with fish to pasta with vegetables.
Some of the main pasta dishes are based on pasta:
- Anelletti al forno
- Cous-Cous alla trapanese
- Macco di fave
- Maccheroni alla siciliana
- Minestra con i tenerumi
- Pasta con le sarde
- Pasta con i broccoli
- Pasta al pesto di pistacchio
- Pasta alla norma
- Pasta o niuru di siccia (nero di seppia)
- Pasta ca muddica
- Pasta cco capuliatu
- Pasta c’anciova (pasta con le acciughe sotto sale)
- Pasta col nero di seppie
- Pasta e fasola (pasta e fagioli)
- Pasta con i tenerumi
- Pasta fritta
- Pasta “Ncasciata”
- Pasta alla trapanese
- Spaghetti alla carrettiera
- Spaghetti alla bottarga di tonno
- Spaghetti ai ricci
- Spaghetti alla siracusana
Despite being a typical North African dish, couscous was introduced in the province of Trapani following the immigration of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to Tunisia and Libya, thus becoming one of the iconic dishes of the Sicilian culinary tradition.
Some of the typical second courses of Sicily are:
- Arrosto panato (Palermo)
- Coniglio “lardiato”
- Involtini di carne
- Involtini di pesce spada
- Pesce spada alla ghiotta
- Pescestocco alla messinese
- Puppetti ‘i muccu (frittelle di neonata)
- Polpette di sarde (fritte e al sugo)
- Purpi affucati (polpi in guazzetto)
- Sarde alla beccafico
- Bastaddi affucati (cavolfiori affogati)
- Involtini di melanzane
- Pizza fritta alla Siciliana
- Polpette di finocchietto
Sicily is a land with a strong agricultural imprint that is favored by its geographical position, mild climate, and extremely fertile soil, which is why fruit and vegetable production is one of the flagships of the island.
The production ranges from apricots, figs, citrus fruits, to even some exotic fruits such as kiwis, bananas, pineapples, and others. On the island, the production of jams and marmalades, fruit salads with ice creams up to the typical granitas, and the orange peels are usually dried to make candied fruit.
The production of fruit and citrus fruits includes oranges, lemons, cedars, mandarins, apricots, melons, watermelons, pears, apples, strawberries, cherries, prickly pears, grapes, peaches, and the production and consumption of products considered indigenous such as medlars, pomegranates, carobs, mulberries, and figs!