Sicily Tourism

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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While Sicily tourism--let's be honest about things here--does have a great deal to do with its rich 10,000 years of history, it also has much to do with the food and wine. The island is densely populated, temperate in climate, enveloped by the Mediterranean, and hospitable. What better way to enjoy all this, under the picturesque shadow of Mount Etna to the southeast, than with friends and local wines and cuisine?

A Culinary Primer to Sicily Tourism

What you'll see in Sicily are ancient ruins and olive groves, medieval architecture, lemon groves, Mount Etna, mudflat geysers, and vineyards--to name a few. But those olive, lemon, and orange groves, not to mention the vineyards, have much to do with the cuisine you'll remember for some time.

The more familiar you are with basic regional dishes, the more you'll get out of your Sicily tourism excursion. An often-seen and delicious salad appetizer is caponata, made of olives, celery, capers, and eggplant. Maccu is a creamy soup made of garbanzo beans, arancine are fried rice balls stuffed with cheese or meat. Meat dishes--many of lamb or goat--are especially popular. If you're particularly bold you might be willing to try milza, sandwiches made of veal spleen and said to be delicious.

The best by all accounts are Sicilian desserts, from cannoli (tubular crusts with ricotta and sugar filling) to cassata (cake with the same filling) to frutta di Martorana (marzipan pastry). Sicily tourism, of course, does not leave out its vineyards. The best-known Sicilian wine is Marsala, whose sisters are sherry and port. The earliest island vineyard was established in 1796, a competitor in 1812, and a third in 1832. Recently, smaller firms have helped catalyze the industry, and Marsala is regaining the deserved reputation it enjoyed for the 19th century.

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