Sicilian cuisine is deeply cosmopolitan, drawing from the culinary culture of all its invaders. The Arabs introduced aubergines and rice as well as a sweet and spicy cuisine. The French and Spanish refined the raw ingredients and the end result is a sumptuous Mediterranean stew in which pasta, tomatoes, vegetables, sea food, lemons extra virgin olive oil and various herbs predominate.
Primarily, Sicilian food mixes Italian staples – pasta, tomato souce and fresh vegetables – with local specialities and products of the traditional island industries: red chillies, tuna, swordfish and sardines, olives, pine nuts and capers all figure heavily.
The mild winter climate and long summer mean that fruit and vegetables are less seasonal here than in northern Europe and are also much bigger and more impressive.
In Sicily you may discover the true “cucina povera”, the pillar of the famous Mediterranean diet: pasta (fresh and dried) dressed with pure, extra virgin olive oil and fresh vegetables, lightly grilled fish, lamb or goat seasoned with herbs. A healthy, peasant food, unspoilt by cloying sauces: you will discover how well and how healthfully you can eat without heavy sauces and fats.
Taormina has approximately 80 restaurants, trattorie and pizzerie, all open from noon to 3 pm and from 7 until 12 pm or even later than that.
Although a trattoria is a cheaper, simpler place than a ristorante, in reality in Taormina they are both serving fabolous Sicilian meals.
Most ristoranti and trattorie in town display a menu outside with prices so that you know exactly what to expect.
Literally “before the meal”. Starters in Taormina‘s restaurants are often sumptuously displayed to tempt you the minute you walk in: cold dishes as “insalata di mare” (seafood salad tossed in olive oil, lemon and herbs), vegetables, salami, ham, olives, stuffed artichoke hearths, anchovies and aubergines in various guises, “peperonata” (peppers in oil) or “pomodori ripeni” (stuffed tomatoes). Aubergines are a staple, wether grilled, fried, stuffed (“involtini di melanzane”), or baked in a cheese and tomato sauce (“melanzane alla parmigiana”). Or try “pesce spada affumicato”, smoked sword-fish or “alici marinate” (marinated anchovies).
A favourite starter is also “caponata”, a dish of fried peppers, aubergines, tomatoes, courgettes and olives.
Soups or pasta dishes. In Taormina we recommend to try: Pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil, “pennette alla norma” (an eggplant sauce), “pasta con le sarde” (with a sauce of sardines, tomatoes, pine nuts and rasins), or “linguine al limone”, surprisingly simple and delicious. Or “risotto alla marinara” (steamed rice with fresh seafood), “spaghetti al nero di seppia” (with the black squid sauce), “spaghetti ai frutti di mare” (seafood) or “spaghetti ai ricci di mare” (with sea-urchin‘s eggs).
Click here to view the complete list
MARSALA, a sweet or dry fortified wine which is a distant cousin of sherry.
MOSCATO DI PANTELLERIA
PASSITO DI PANTELLERIA
MALVASIA DI LIPARI