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May 19, 2011 11:24 PM

Sicily - Must Try?

Hey Chowhounds!

I'm heading to Sicily this summer and am looking for recommendations for must try food experiences and/or memorable places to eat. I am a foodie in search of authenticity and an outstanding experience.. can be a hole in the wall or a michelin starred darling, as long as it's the real deal. Thanks in advance for your recommendations!

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  1. It's worth being more specific about where on this large island you want to be: from Palermo and the west/northwest to Siracusa/Ragusa and the southeast, for instance. Even general reg
    ional focus will dramatically help others to suggest places. Otherwise, those who have recommendations might not bother to post.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bob96

      Thank you for the suggestion Bob. I will be traveling around the entire island for several weeks, so am seeking recommendations from anywhere in the region.

      1. re: foodloverSF

        You really should pick up Fred Plotkin's italy for the Gourmet Traveler, which has many pages on Sicily and which parts of it produce which specialities, plus giving you restaurant recommendations.

    2. Hi foodloverSF, I am also in SF and recently visited Sicily for the first time. I received some good suggestions and gave some feedback after I returned on this thread:

      Don't miss chocolate in Modica if you happen to be in the area. We tried lots but Antica Dolceria Bonajuto was right near our hotel, so that's what I bought to bring home (mostly). Have fun! We loved Sicily.

      1. We're currently eating our way around Sicily. Whilst we have had a lot of good food, there have been two standout meals so far, followed very closely by a third. The best meal was at La Madia in Licata.Try the 9 course Creativo menu to sample the amazing food from this Michelin starred restaurant.Every course was a taste sensation. We also had fabulous seafood at Sakalleo, a small local restaurant in Scoglitti. 10 antipasto dishes followed by a pasta dish with seafood and a plate of grilled fish caught fresh that day from their own boat. You can stop anytime you want to but why miss out! Restaurant Duomo, a Michelin starred restaurant in Ragusa Ibla was also excellent. Their cannoli was one of the best we have had so far. Enjoy

        via Capitano Bocchieri 31, Ragusa, Sicilia , IT

        Scoglitti,Piazza Cavour, 12, Vittoria, Sicilia 97019, IT

        2 Replies
        1. re: atasteoftravel

          Thanks so much for the info... just bookmarked your blog for our upcoming travels... looks like we will be following in your footsteps for much of our visit! Your photos are 'drool' worthy! enjoy the rest of your travels!

          1. re: atasteoftravel

            adding a link, thanks for the report. Great blog pics. I hope you will share more here about your meals!

            La Madia Di Cipriano Gaetana Loredana
            Corso F. Re Capriata, 24, Licata, Sicilia 92027, IT

          2. Hi,

            I'm from sicily, our food tradition just like our history is ancient and pretty wide, thus u will find a pretty entangled thread where many cultures mixes their taste (mainly Greek and arab).

            Here u will find%3

            superb wines, Marsala, Nero d'Avola, Alcamo, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Etna (just some of the most important)

            delicious appetizer like arancini di riso, cardi in pastella, cozze gratinate, gateau di patate, parmigiana di melanzane, panelle, pomodori secchi.

            lots of first course, u ought to taste the couscous while in the west area (near Mazara del vallo), spaghetti con le sarde in Palermo, pasta alla norma, cavatieddi, pasta alla carrettiera, pasta al nero di seppia, pasta a forno, spaghetti allo scoglio, spaghetti alla trapanese, pasta con la bottarga (tuna eggs), pasta al pesco di pistacchio (typical of east area, in the small town of Bronte).

            about main courses the most are about fish insted of meat, and i also don't eat meat myself so i cannot advise much about (sorry) amongst meat i would reconmend in tasting anything roasted wich will come with a typical seasoning wich change its name for each town but it's made always with mint and olive oil as base, some places add garlic, some onion, some oregano, and so on... amongst fish based dishes there're, sarde a beccafico, swordfish alla messinese, sea salad (known also as pulp salad), again u can have any kind of roasted fish and enjoy its freshness... a must try are some marinade fih and seafood like shrimps, pulp, swordfish, mussels and tuna.

            about desserts u ought to try the cassata siciliana, cannoli siciliani, bignè di san giuseppe (also known as sfincia di san giuseppe), cubbaita, pignolata, chocolate (in Modica there's an ancient tradition wich have nothing to envy to swiss chocolate).... also coming in summer u will enjoy lots of ice cream, here we have a great tradition for ice cream and u'll see how many tastes a good ice cream parlor can have... u ought to try the typical granita sicilian, commonly made as lemon taste but can also be found in orange, straberry and others...

            Keep in mind these are just few, as I muntioned above, here any province, any town has its own...

            So enjoy... enjoy ur Trip, I hope I helped u, if u have any other questions about wich places visit just ask.

            Nero d'Avola
            vico Spuches 8, Taormina, Sicilia 98039, IT

            2 Replies
              1. re: foodloverSF

                Adding to Pazzopersushi!'s response, know what you would like to try and use your nose, or ask locally, from there. We spent months in Sicily a few years ago. As in all of Italy, there is a great disconnect between opinions rendered by non-Italians, including Michelin, and locals.

                Even though I am from northern Italy, I was constantly introduced to new flavors, new foods and new methods of preparation. Sicily is a very special part of Italy with respect to it's cuisine and to go there with preconceived notions, I think, will do you a disservice. If you read these boards you probably know fine cooking from your nose and your eyes. Use them is my advice.

            1. I haven't been, but this place is on my must go list if I ever make it to Sicily.


              The author and editor Peter Gethers found it while on vacation some years ago and was so crazy about the owners and their food he commissioned a cookbook, which won some major award.