Once in Sicily, you cannot miss the vibrant street food scene. In fact, it is the essence of the Sicilian cuisine. Locals and visitors alike eat out in the streets, talk to each other, and accidentally tempt passersby. The popular street foods include Sfincione, Arancini (fried rice balls similar to supplì in Rome), Pane, Panelle e Crocch, Babbaluci (snails); Pani caʼ meusa (beef spleen sandwiches); Stigghiola (intestines of lamb). A local favorite to enjoy street food is Franco u Vastiddaru, which is near to another foodie place Mercato Vucciria.
Some of the typical pasta dishes in Sicily are Spaghetti ai ricci (spaghetti with urchins), Pasta alla Norma (pasta with cheese and aubergines, in the picture above), Pasta al pesto di pistacchi (pasta with pistachio pesto), and Pasta con le sarde (pasta with sardines). You can try Pasta alla Norma at Trattoria De Fiore in Catania. We could not find the other pasta dishes anywhere. However, you can buy a jar of pistachio pesto and make Pasta al pesto di pistacchi by yourself.
Since Sicily is an island, fresh seafood is delicacies here. They are not very expensive compared to the prices in other seaside places in Italy. Some of the delicacies include picci (urchins), polpo bollito (boiled octopus), cozze (mussels), swordfish, and sardines. The fried sardine dish we had in Trattoria De Fiore was simple and tasty.
Sicilians have sweet teeth. It is nor surprising that their desserts are sweet, sometimes overly sweet. Still, to understand the concept Sweet Sicily, indulge yourselves with Torta Setteveli, Cannoli, Cassata, Pasta di Mandorle, and Gelato con brioche. A lovely place to enjoy Torta Setteveli (which is essentially chocolate cake) is Pasticceria Cappello, near the Norman Place in Palermo.
As soon as I left Sicily, I immediately missed its naturally sweet fruit. Some of my favorites are prickly pears, pomegranates, and persimmons. They were in season during autumn, when I visited Sicily. But I am sure other seasons have a great variety of tasty fruit to try as well.
The best restaurant I went to in Sicily was Trattoria Tiramisù in Taormina. The swordfish dish we ordered was excellent, and the staff was friendly. Another good place is Trattoria De Fiore in Catania. It is a family-run restaurant, and the price is inexpensive as the portions were huge. While Trattoria Tiramisù is a modern kitchen, Trattoria De Fiore serves Sicilian dishes in traditional and homemade style.
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