Sicily is one of our favorite destinations for an Italy food tour with The International Kitchen. We consider it one of the most authentic destinations, a place that is still unabashedly provincial. Sicily doesn’t try to be anything but what it is, and the result can be at time frustrating, at times magnificent, and always interesting. From the bustling streets of Palermo to the languid piazzas of the villages, it offers the culinary traveler of a Sicily culinary vacation delights at every turn.
What makes Sicily so interesting on a tour of Italy? Well, part of it is certainly the history, which archeologists say goes back some 14,000 years! But even if we only look at Sicily since the fall of the Roman empire, we can see rule by numerous different groups including the Phoenicians, the Vandals, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Normans, the Spanish, the Bourbons, and more! It’s no wonder that the cuisine and the culture are so beautifully diverse and interesting.
What to see on a Sicily culinary vacation?
Sicily has gorgeous seascapes and beaches. It has a stunning assortment of Greek and Roman ruins. It has fascinating churches and monuments. It has food markets, wineries, mountains, rivers, music, and more. It even has, of course, volcanoes!
Sicily also has wonderful food that you can explore on our Sicily wine tours and cooking vacations, influenced by its geography and by its history. You have Arab influences such as dried fruit, saffron, cloves, pine nuts, and cinnamon. You have New World influences via the Spaniards of cocoa, maize, tomatoes, and more. You have Greek influences in the fish, olives, and pistachios. And North African influence in the couscous dishes you will find in some parts of the island. All of it means a delicious and authentic gastronomy to explore on a Sicily food tour with TIK! (Try this tasty recipe for sarde a beccafico.)
Wherever you go on your Sicily culinary vacation, one thing holds true. You will be visiting a land as unique, vibrant, and authentic today as is has been for many centuries.
By Peg Kern
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