You can’t leave Sicily without trying these 10 typical Sicilian foods!

No one could say Sicily is short of good food, and if you’re lucky enough to be heading there on your next vacation, we encourage you to try as much of it as you can. Sicilian food is unique in that Sicily is right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, so the food has influences of Italian, Greek, Spanish, and other cultures who have touched Sicily over the years.

While you’re there exploring on vacation, be sure to stop frequently to try some of their amazing fresh local food. Here are 10 foods you absolutely must try while you’re there:

  1. Granita with Brioche

granita and brioche

Granita with brioche is a sweet treat, served at breakfast. Granita is also perfect for a refreshing snack or as dessert. It is typically oranges, lemons, pistachio, and other flavors mixed with crushed ice for a light dessert, a little like sorbet.


2. Cannoli

cannoli

Cannoli has spread all over the world, so you may have had it before, but the Sicilians invented it, so it is something you have to try while you are in Sicily, regardless of whether you’ve had the dessert treat before. Cannoli is sweetened ricotta cheese inside deep-fried crispy shells and covered in chocolate bits or candied fruit. Perfect for your sweet tooth.


  1. Arancini (also known as Arancine in Palermo)

arancini

Arancini is a classic Sicilian street food you can eat with your hands. It is essentially a ball of creamy risotto stuffed with meat, vegetables or cheese, rolled in breadcrumbs, and fried. You’ll find all kinds of arancini in Sicily, so feel free to try a few different flavors. In Palermo, you’ll find Arancini under the name Arancine – and both of these names are the plural form. Generally, a single ball is called Arancino, or Arancina in Palermo.


  1. Pasta alla Norma

pasta alla normaSicilian pasta is some of the best in the world, and Pasta alla Norma is pasta served with fried eggplant in a tomato and basil sauce, dusted with ricotta salata, which is salted ricotta cheese. Delicious!


  1. Pane Panelle (and other Street Food from Palermo)

Panelle is must-try street food from Palermo. It is made of chickpea flour mixed with water, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. It is served as a fried fritter inside a sesame bun in the markets and squares. You shouldn’t leave Palermo without trying it, and don’t be afraid to walk around trying all of the delicious street food Palermo has to offer.


  1. Cassata

cassata
Cassata is another delicious treat for your sweet tooth! Cassata is a sponge cake laced with a sweet liqueur and layered with ricotta, candied fruit and chocolate, then covered with marzipan and white icing or whipped cream and decorated with more candied fruits.


  1. Caponata

caponata
Caponata is a traditional Sicilian salad made with eggplant and other vegetables. The vegetables are first fried and allowed to simmer in a sweet and sour sauce. It is often served cold as a starter, or as a side dish for meat or pasta.


  1. Pasta con le Sarde

pasta con le sarde
Pasta con le Sarde is yet another way the Sicilians eat pasta. This dish includes fresh sardines with anchovies, fennel, sultanas, pine nuts and saffron, most commonly served over tagliatelle or spaghetti.


  1. Sfincione

sfincione
Sfincione is like pizza, though you’ll find the slices thick and spongy and the crust is more like bread than a standard pizza crust. Traditionally, it is topped with tomatoes, onions, a dusting of cheese, and anchovies you can only sometimes taste.


  1. The Chocolate from Modica (Cioccolato di Modica)

chocolate modica
Don’t leave Sicily without a couple of bars of cioccolata modicana in your suitcase. This chocolate is a specialty of the Modica municipality made using an ancient recipe. It requires manual grinding which gives the chocolate its grainy texture.

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