Sicily, the southernmost region of Italy, Italy’s largest province and the largest island in the Mediterranean, is rich with a diverse heritage and cuisine featuring simple, wholesome ingredients. Historically inhabited by Greeks, North Africans and Arabs, Sicilian cuisine reflects these cultures by drawing on the culinary influences of each group. The Greek influence comes in the form of fresh fish and vegetable dishes, while the Arabs introduced many key ingredients such as eggplant, apricots, almonds, couscous and cinnamon. However, pasta still forms the basis of Sicilian cuisine.
The culinary diversity of Sicily can be seen in many signature dishes including Caponata, a traditional antipasto composed of eggplant, tomatoes, celery, olives and capers, and Couscous al Pesce, a Moroccan-inspired couscous dish served with fresh fish.
Like other temperate regions of Italy, Sicily is known for its many varieties of grapes. Many of Sicily’s grapes are used for the production of raisins, reflecting another Arab influence. However, wines from this region are popular, including Marsala, a fortified wine similar to port or sherry.