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Sunday, January 20, 2013

What Makes Sicilian Recipes Exceptional?

Sicilian buffet
Sicilian buffet (Photo credit: stijn)

By []Sebastiano Accaputo

Recipes and food from Sicily are actually some of the world's most singled out cuisines and this comes with a perfectly good reason.

Due to the cultural heritage that is a mixture of several cultures, Sicilian cookery is something that has been formed from a lot of sources, offering assorted recipes intertwined with our very own ingredients.

Sicilian recipes were created from influences of the races which have conquered our island and when they left, they also left behind traces of their own cuisines and traditions.

From Greeks, to Romans, the Arabs, Angevins, Normans,Spanish, Hapsburgs, Bourbons and the Italians, of course, the Sicilian cookery has turned out to be something that you should not miss trying.

Aside from the diverse cultural influences, the lands of Sicily also have natural resources to die for.

Its fertile soil and warm climate also lets inclusion of varied vegetables and fruits while the seas that surround it abound with plenty of seafood ingredients that are perfect for the most mouthwatering Sicilian dishes.

Most of the traditional Sicilian recipes are products of its bountiful seas,made from sardines, tuna, sepia or cuttlefish, swordfish as well as calamari or squid.

Same great samples of Sicilian recipes are Sicilian seared tuna, spicy seafood and the Sicilian stuffed squid.

Meanwhile, Sicily's signature dish makes use of the eggplant, which is known as Caponata.
Sicilians also love rice balls and they have many variations for this certain recipe.
Sicilians are famous for their delicious desserts, such as the cassata, a molded kind of cake.
This is made using marzipan, ricotta and citrus, making it a real delight.

Sicilian cuisine is essentially an agricultural and maritime one: simple but genuine, with thousand of different nuances.

The centuries of domination by various populations have also enriched the range of typical local dishes with new ingredients and flavours.

Sicilian civilization is unique and has preserved its particular characteristics over the years.

It is no coincidence that pasta was born in Sicily, along with sweet and sour sauces (agrodolce), "cassata", stuffed meat and a wide range of stewed vegetables.

Furthermore many ingredients were imported from the Middle East and Spain, bringing with them the cultural heritage of their origin countries.

The island has a unique environment with volcanoes, the mild climate, the sea, the abundant fertile soil, the sloping hills, the table lands, the vast plains where a wide range of crops are grown.

Sicily is famous in the world for its delicious ice creams (gelati) made with the luscious fruits available throughout the year.

Even the frugal meals of the peasant feature a whole series of spicy, attractive dishes.

The ingredients are always wholesome - "semola" flour, wild vegetables, freshly picked herbs, eggs and cheese and, of course, extra virgin olive oil, used to make pies,"mpanate" and all kind of fritters.

As islanders we have our own way of making the various local dishes, using ancient recipes handed down by our grandmas, mums and aunts, and my recipe will be passed down in the same way.

The result is a rich variety, thanks also to the influence of the various invaders, which have no equals elsewhere.

The historical-cultural background, the stunning places, the unique cuisine and the mild weather make Sicily one of the most desirable touristic destination of Mediterranean Sea.

Sebastiano comes from Sicily where he worked for 10 years in the pharmaceuticals. He is living now in London where is working in the fine food sector. He is the author of "101 Sicilian Recipes, History, Legends and Food From Sicily"

Article Source: [] What Makes Sicilian Recipes Exceptional?
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