mercoledì 28 maggio 2008

Sicilian Specialties

Different regions in Italy have their own food specialties and sometimes have unique cooking methods. Probably the most distinct region in Italy is Sicily. Sicily is an island slightly bigger than the state of Vermont that lies in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. The fact that it is physically separated from the mainland by the sea makes it easy to differentiate this region from the other regions of Italy, which can sometimes overlap or be a little harder to classify.

It’s been said that there is no comparison to the vegetables grown in the rich soil of the island of Sicily. It’s for this reason that the foods of this region emphasize simplicity. By overcooking or using complex recipes, the pure deliciousness of the freshly grown vegetables could be masked.

The world-famous cannoli is a specialty of Sicily. You may have also heard of Marsala, the famous Sicilian sweet wine. Sicily is also known for fresh fruit, grown on the island itself. Citrus fruits in particular, especially oranges and blood oranges, are grown in plenty in Sicily.

The eggplant we talked about in great detail in a previous post? It’s probably the most commonly used vegetable in Sicily. The people there have developed literally hundreds of mouth-watering ways to prepare it. If you think you don’t like eggplant, a visit to Sicily will surely change your mind! Artichokes and peppers follow closely behind in popularity.

And, finally, the burning question that has been on all your minds since you started reading this post. What’s up with “Sicilian Pizza”? First, real Sicilian Pizza has no cheese or anchovies. The square pizza known as Sicilian pizza in the United States is an American invention, of sorts. The real deal also has some of the ingredients incorporated into the dough, instead of just being placed on top. It’s quite delicious! You can try to make your own just by adding a few of the ingredients you would normally place on top into the dough before baking. Try it out and share your new recipes with us!

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