Many people think cannoli is an Italian food, but it is actually from Sicily. A cannoli is a crust tube filled with a sweet ricotta cheese filling. Although the Sicilian cannoli are not flashy, the flavour speaks for itself. Never buy cannoli that are already made and on display. Normally Sicilian cannoli are made fresh when ordered with ricotta from the fridge to keep the tube crunchy.
Formed into the shapes of different fruits, these treats are delicious little pastries made from marzipan. Since marzipan is made from almond it is the perfect snack for people on a gluten-free diet. It can be quite difficult to perfect the flavour and texture. Fortunately, Sicilians have been mastering it since the Arab rule in the 900s. The taste is one of almond with a slight sweetness and soft texture.
Fried delicious rice balls that will ignite your taste buds. Arancine are breadcrumb-coated rice balls that are filled with an assortment of different ingrediants, but most usually meat and tomato sauce or ham and mozzarella. It is the perfect mixture of texture and flavour. Some places serve them baked instead of fried, which is a much healthier option. Arancine can be found in most bakeries and on the street.
Otherwise known as Sicilian pizza, this Sicilian food has a fluffy crust, unlike the thin crust of its Italian counterpart. A typical Sfincione has a deep, thick rectangular crust with tomato sauce, sardines, herbs, cheese and onions on it. Some places like to put the tomato sauce on top of the other ingredients to keep the crust from becoming flat and gooey.
Brioche con Gelato
One of the best Sicilian summertime snacks is a brioche con gelato. This wonderful ice cream sandwich puts traditional ice cream cookie or wafer sandwiches to shame. The brioche bread is light and fluffy but still strong enough to maintain the gelato. Be warned: the first time you eat brioche con gelato you will almost certainly make a mess, because the gelato is pouring out of the brioche. Sit down and enjoy it before the sun melts it! A good technique is to take small bites and use your tongue to mop up any run away gelato.
Pani Ca Meusa
This is a street food you can find on the corner of most places in Sicily. It is a bread bun filled with lamb spleen and lungs. The meat is cooked in its own fat or lard, and stirred for a while after someone has ordered it, giving it a good hearty flavour. It is a ritual, so have patience. Normally it is served with lemon or mozzarella cheese on top.
Carne di Cavallo
In English, ‘carne di cavallo’ means ‘horse meat’. This is quite a delicacy in Sicily, and in other parts of Europe. It may be hard for many horse-lovers to try this, but it is one of the best meats in the world. It comes in many styles including hamburgers, sausages, fillets and even whole hearts. An easy way to start out is with horse burgers because it resembles beef. The burgers and sausages are tender and juicy, sometimes filled with a mixture of mozzarella, pepper and salt.
Another wonderful recipe brought to Sicily by the Arabs, caponata is mainly made from eggplants. Depending on the region of Sicily, different ingredients are added, such as capers or swordfish. This Sicilian food has a slightly bitter flavour. It is delicious to eat as a main dish or as an appetiser. It can also be chilled for a nice summertime dish. For a more exotic taste, try adding a small amount of dark chocolate on top.