Last week I took a hit for the team and spent a week in Sicily. Whilst I didn’t particularly like the idea of deep-fried Risotto balls, pasta recipes passed through the ages and world-class seafood, I took one for the team and visited. Turns out, the aforementioned points were actually rather good, so good in fact, that I felt the need to share it with all of you.
This Sicilian street-food is found quite literally everywhere across the island, and contrary to popular belief, are not exclusively spherically shaped, but coned too. Whether you go to a restaurant or a market stall complete with a shouting Italian proprietor, these delicious snacks will be almost certainly be on the menu. During our time we came across various fillings, suitable for both carnivores and vegetarians, however the undoubted winner had a pistachio filling. We found this in a café overlooking Giardino Bellini in Catania.
Any trip to Italy would be incomplete without multiple bowls of pasta lovingly cooked by a Nonna, with Sicily being no different. Personal highlight goes out to a stonking bowl of Pasta Alla Norma, cooked at one of Mt Etna’s vineyards. Aubergine in a tomato sauce, with cassarace tossed through and a salted ricotta garnish (the Italian answer to feta), this was an unassuming showstopper.
The picturesque village of Cefalù yielded the most impressive pesto pasta I’ve ever seen. Parsley pesto, tagliatelle, crème fraiche and raw prawns; combinations so good that any jarred (or homemade) pesto will now be depressingly underwhelming.
Sicily is surrounded by sea which inevitably provides the population with some of the finest seafood available. Strolling through the hectic street markets of Palermo you’ll see cross-sections of swordfish the size of a baby cow, being sold for eye-wateringly cheap prices. Walk a further 10 metres and you’ll find the same swordfish sizzling on a grill, before it gets doused in a garlic mixture, then slapped on a vessel and thrown in front of you. Anywhere else you might think twice before eating but seeing the whole supply-chain reassures you of the quality.
Sicily was an absolute whirlwind with some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. Anyone pondering over booking a trip, stop messing around and book now. If you don’t fancy a trip to Sicily then keep your eyes peeled for special Tandem supper club, highlighting the edible treasures of this special island.