Speciali della Sicilia
mozzarella, served with spicy marinara.
We are delighted to bring you specialties from the Italian island region of Sicily. Although predominantly Italian, Sicilian cuisine shows traces of all the cultures which established themselves on the island over the last two millennia, including Greek, Arab, Norman and Spanish. This island cuisine is traditionally rich in seafood with meat a more recent addition.
Sicilian cuisine is inseparable from its history. Over the last 2000 years, Sicily has been settled, invaded and/or conquered by one culture after another. Greeks began to colonize the island around 750BC, and it remained a Greek colony for the next 600 years, when it became a Roman province. In their turn, the Arabs ruled Sicily from 827-1091, followed by the Normans, whose conquest of Sicily and southern Italy lasted until 1194. Sicily then fell to the German House of Hohenstaufen through marriage (and war), and the Kingdom of Sicily was declared. Then came the French, the Spanish, the Austrians, until finally, in 1861, Sicily became part of the unified Kingdom of Italy. Despite being part of Italy, Sicilians still consider themselves first and foremost Sicilian. Arab culinary influences include apricots, citrus, saffron, raisins, clove, pine nuts, and cinnamon. Normans and Germans introduced a fondness for meat dishes (rather than the traditional seafood). Later, the Spanish introduced various New World items, including cocoa, maize, peppers, and tomatoes. In Catania, on the east coast, initially settled by Greeks, fish, olives, broad beans, pistachios, and fresh vegetables are preferred, while in Trapani in the extreme western corner of the island, North African influences are clear in the use of couscous.