Sicilian food and wine heritage is an old and rich story where they are still alive Greek, Arab and Norman roots. Syracuse was the culinary capital of the classical Magna Graecia era in the fifth century;it produced a real cooks school and also a cookbook! Sweet and sour recipes, widespread in all Sicily, made with raisins and pine nuts, come from the ellenic ethnic-gastronomic universe. Otherwise it was Arabs people which introduced cultivation of citrus fruits, to bring ice cream, couscous; also the same name as "cassata" comes from the Arabic word casserole: “Quas-at”.

Going into detail of our Sicily places, main characteristic of Aeolian cuisine is given by strong flavors,  use of herbs and aromatic plants produced by its strange and wild nature…

While in inland areas you will try meat, particularly rabbit, and also excellent cheese, ricotta and pecorino, on the seacoast, mastepiece of cuisine is of course, the fish! There is, however, a common denominator: caper, that is readily used to flavor many dishes. Starting with grouper ravioli in “paesana” sauce or black risotto with squid, you can also move to fish squids "ammollicati", Pauro (tipical fish) in “acqua pazza”, grilled “Occhiate” (tipical fish), served with Aeolian ratatouille and eggplant “caponata liparota”.

Desserts are those tipical of sicilian tradition, but in particular, Aeolian dessert must be a nice fruit ice cream accompanied by Malvasia delle Lipari sweet wine.

During your cruise in Sicily and  Aeolian Islands aboard of Portorosa Charter boat fleet, you will have opportunity to enjoy, on land or on board *, the best Sicilian and Aeolian cuisine and culinary tradition Here are some tips selected for you, do not miss them!

The eggplant parmigiana is the true glory of Sicilian cuisine, famous throughout Italy: eggplant, fried strips and seasoned with cheese, ham, meat sauce and basil and then baked. The dish is used as either first, appetizer or main dish.

Do not miss the famous arancini: rice balls fried, stuffed with meat, cheese, or even peas and mushrooms.

Start your meal with a rich caponata, made with eggplant, capers, olives and sardines; the same sweet&sour recipes are reserved for other vegetables to create the famous peperonate, Cipollate, garlic soup and even  the Piripicchio artichokes, with breadcrumbs in the marinade.

 

In Sicily, most prestigious speciality are represented by “pasta”. Pasta with sardines, typical of Palermo, is made with fennel, raisins, pine nuts and saffron. The fish pasta is characterized by strong and spicy flavors, instead of the classical lightness that is usually for fish; in Lampedusa it’s tipical to make pasta with tuna, capers, shrimp and cheese; tuna is very spread to prepare gorgeus sauces; depending on the area it is cooked in white or tomato sauce with anchovies, also marinated in sweet&sour sauce; a real masterpiece is pasta with bottarga (eggs of tuna), also try pasta with sea urchin eggs. The famous Sicilian pasta alla Norma, named in honor of the famous opera by Vincenzo Bellini, macaroni with a savory sauce of eggplant and salted ricotta (tipical cheese). In pasta picchipacchiu you can try eggplants cooked with anchovies, and also in Catania ricotta cheese goes often to rice with squid ink!

The pasta 'ncasciata tipical of Messina is perhaps the best in terms of stuffed baked pasta. In Trapani famous pasta with pesto Trapanese made with almonds and fish couscous, prepared with grouper, redfish, shrimp and mussels, for which it is also very well known to all Couscous Festival of San Vito Lo Capo (TP) , every year in September, and welcomes thousands of visitors from around the world! In Sicily you can prepare a pesto made with pine nuts only, now famous all over Italy. Typical Aeolian recipe is pasta with tomatoes, always capers, olives, anchovies and chopped raisins.


 

Among main fish recipes, king of Aeolian Islands are, naturally: tuna, swordfish and sardines. Tuna and sardines are tipical made breaded and marinades (tuna sfinciuni); also made with raisins and pine nuts, in “involtini” (rolled); Sicilian people distinguish tuna male from “tunnina”, the female: tunnina is preparing with a mixture of garofano nails, parsley, cheese or pecorino cheese; with pecorino in Noto city gorgeus sausages are made; in Syracuse, fry the meatballs (the purpetti)!

“Sarde a beccafico” provide, however, a classic marinade and a stuffing of bread, pine nuts and lemon. Swordfish is very fine cooked breaded and stuffed with cheese, or stuffed with olives, capers and zucchini, or even with sammurigghiu (sauce made with garlic, olive oil, lemon and parsley). Inland you will eat tasty mutton and lamb: the famous lamb tipical of Messina, with cheese. Combination of meat and strong cheese (caciocavallo, salted ricotta, etc..) is also found in sciusceddu, made with ricotta cheese, egg and broth. In some places you will try tripe or tuna, with stronger sauces based on eggplants. Finally, original and “strange” recipe: “Teste di turco” (heads of turkish): dumplings stuffed gnocchi with minced pork, ricotta and cinnamon, covered with cocoa, for oriental arab flavours!

In the Aeolian Islands, specialities are stuffed squid or”totani alla paeasana”, delicious with bread crumbs, chopped capers, olives, pine nuts and raisins; Pauro or branzino alla “acqua pazza”, baked with sauce with tomatoes, olives and capers ; famous "filicuddara" salad, typical of Filicudi island, made with tomatoes, onions, capers, olives, boiled potatoes, cucumbers, fresh basil and, of course, the ever-fresh red chilli pepper.


 

Famous sicilian pastry will be present also into your cruise in Aeolian Islands!Made principally with sweet ricotta and pistacchio. Mastepiece “cassata” is widespread also cooked. “Cannoli” are stuffed with sweet ricotta also very well known; good also fried ravioli stuffed with ricotta and jam. “Trionfo di Gola” includes filling of sponge cake with ricotta cheese, cream, apricot jelly and pistacchio. The various sweet almond, marzipan and marzipan are also prized: try the pasta Martorana art forms! “Luna di Maometto” (moon of Muhammad) is made with walnuts, figs, Marsala wine and honey. Ice cream, granite and sorbets, from Arabic origin (sherbeth in Arabic), became widespread,from sixteenth century, all around the world!

Sicilian wine is also very famous and celebrated. This region has made in recent years an excellent step in wine production, leading to place many wine types at the top of the world! Excellent bottles were created by the rediscovery of indigenous grapes, also mixed with non-native grapes which have proved particularly suitable to the area:  Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG and Alcamo DOC, Etna, “il Faro” and the Monreale : various Nero d'Avola wines become very trendy now! Noble and ancient tradition of dessert wines you will try in Sicily, such as “Malvasia delle Lipari”, Passito, Moscato di Pantelleria, Zibibbo and Marsala, in many forms and taste: Virgin, Superior, Amber, Semi-dried and Sweet.

 

For other informations or requests, recipes, tips, reservations in tyipical restaurants, please contact us! We will customize your boat cruise with a touch of ... typical Sicilian taste!

* Cooking service on board is not available on all boats and cruise packages

 


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