Travel Story Gourmet Italy: A foodie adventure through Sicily

When it comes to eating well, it's hard to go past Sicily. Food writer Jennifer Jordan shares her top spots. 

For a foodie adventure, Sicily came highly recommended by a Sicilian friend.

Freshly caught sardines and swordfish are eaten throughout Sicily. Sardines are stuffed, rolled or served with pasta — pasta con le sarde is a favourite dish. Swordfish are grilled, rolled and stuffed, often served with sweet onions or Messina-style with tomatoes, black olives and parsley. Octopus salad with potato is served. Caponata — the delicious rich mix of eggplant, tomatoes, parsley, olives and capsicum — seems always on the menu.

History has it that a Sicilian was the first to sell gelato in the 16th century.

Cannoli, a more-ish deep-fried pastry tube stuffed with creamy sweet ricotta, belongs to Sicily. Cassata, another must try, was born in Palermo. 

Palermo

Our food adventure starts in Palermo. Staying in the historic area on Via Roma is just the spot. Palermo buzzes at night — alive with locals, out and about. Musicians mill around the streets. Exploring the small lanes off the main streets, we discover an eclectic mix of small bars and trattorias. The Arab influence is big here: chickpea fritters are popular street food; couscous is served with seafood.

Ragusa

This is a top food town, with three Michelin-starred restaurants. Every foodie holiday must include at least one Michelin restaurant.

Noto

Driving into Noto’s narrow, beautiful, baroque streets, the excitement rises. We check in to our little B&B and chat to the hosts about where to eat.

Ortygia

Ortygia is an island connected by a bridge to Syracuse, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. For the foodie, there’s plenty of choice. 

Taormina

Taormina is a hilltop town with sweeping views of the Ionian Sea, not far from Mt Etna, an active volcano. It’s Sicily’s most popular seaside town and we eat well here. 

(Picture at top: Coastline at Sferracavallo, near Palermo, by Sandro Bedessi/Fototeca ENIT.)

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