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What are the 5 best typical Sicilian products? Here are our recommendations

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Sicily, with its rich culinary tradition, offers a wide range of typical products that delight the palates of anyone who sets foot there. If you’re a cooking enthusiast or just curious to discover what this amazing island has to offer, you’ve come to the right place! We will introduce you to the five best typical Sicilian products that you should definitely try.

5 Typical Sicilian products recommended by La Via dei Sapori

Arancine

Arancine, or arancini as they are called in some parts of Sicily, are one of the typical Sicilian products. These fried and golden rice balls, whose name comes from their resemblance to small oranges, hide within them a flavorful heart of meat sauce, mozzarella and peas, although there are numerous variations that include ingredients such as mushrooms, ham and spinach.

The preparation of arancine is a process that requires time and patience. You start by cooking the rice, which must be of the short-grain type to better absorb the flavors and maintain its shape during frying. Once cooked, rice is often flavored with saffron, which gives it its characteristic yellow-orange color.

After letting the rice cool, proceed to the formation of the arancine: take a portion of rice, make a hollow in the center and fill it with the chosen filling. Then, the arancina is closed giving it a round or slightly elongated shape, depending on the local tradition.

The next step is breading: the arancine are first dipped in the beaten egg and then rolled in breadcrumbs, making sure they are fully coated. Finally, they are fried in plenty of hot oil until they become crispy and golden on the outside, while the inside remains soft and stringy.

Arancine are one of the typical Sicilian products that can be served as an appetizer, snack , or main meal, and are a must-have for any party or special occasion in Sicily. Every bite in these delicious spheres is a journey through the flavors and aromas of Sicilian cuisine, a true tribute to the gastronomic richness of the island.

Sicilian cannoli

Among the typical Sicilian products, Sicilian cannoli are an icon of Italian pastry, famous all over the world for their rich taste and contrasting texture. The preparation of cannoli is an art that requires dedication and precision, and it begins with the creation of waffles, or “rinds”.

These are made with a mixture of flour, sugar, lard (or butter), a pinch of salt, Marsala wine, and sometimes a touch of cocoa or cinnamon to add depth of flavor. The dough is rolled out thinly and cut into circles, which are then wrapped around metal cylinders and fried until crispy and golden.

The heart of the cannoli is its creamy ricotta filling , traditionally sheep’s milk, sweetened and enriched with pieces of chocolate or candied fruit. The ricotta must be well drained to prevent moisture from compromising the crunchiness of the waffles.

After filling the rinds with this cream, cannoli are often garnished with additional touches of flavor and color: chocolate chips, chopped pistachios, candied cherries, or sometimes a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Freshness is essential to fully enjoy Sicilian cannoli; For this reason, they are filled at the moment, just before being served, to maintain the perfect crunchiness of the waffle.

This dessert is a triumph of flavors and textures: the crunchiness of the waffle blends perfectly with the creamy sweetness of the ricotta, creating a balance that delights the palate. Cannoli are not just a dessert, but a symbol of celebration and conviviality, a pleasure to be shared in good company.

Classic Sicilian Panettone

Among the main typical Sicilian products we find the Sicilian panettone, a regional variation of the classic panettone, enriched with typical ingredients of the island that enhance its flavors and aromas. The preparation of this leavened Christmas cake is a long and laborious process that begins with the creation of sourdough, a dough of water and flour that is left to ferment to acquire the right leavening properties.

Once the sourdough starter is ready, proceed with the panettone dough, which includes flour, sugar, eggs, butter and, unlike the Milanese version, can be enriched with ingredients such as almonds, pistachios, candied orange and chocolate, which reflect the Sicilian confectionery tradition.

The dough is kneaded for a long time until it becomes smooth and homogeneous, then it is left to rise in a warm environment until it doubles in volume.

After the first leavening, the dough is kneaded again to incorporate the various aromatic ingredients and enrichments, then it is placed in special paper molds and left to rise a second time. This second leavening is crucial to obtain the typical softness of panettone.

Finally, the panettone is baked in the oven at a controlled temperature until it takes on a golden color and a soft but compact texture. Once out of the oven, it is left to cool upside down, suspended between two supports, to preserve its shape and internal softness.

The result is a rich and fragrant Christmas dessert, which combines the softness of panettone with the distinctive flavors of Sicily. Sicilian panettone is a symbol of celebration and tradition, a dessert that embodies the generosity and warmth of the island, perfect to be shared with family and friends during holiday celebrations.

Sicilian pistachio cream

Among the typical Sicilian products, we find the Sicilian pistachio cream, a velvety and intensely aromatic delicacy, which captures the essence of the fruit in every spoonful. The preparation of this cream begins by selecting the best pistachios, preferably those from Bronte, which are known for their rich flavor and superior quality. The pistachios are first shelled and then lightly roasted to enhance their flavor.

Once roasted, the pistachios are ground into a fine paste. This pistachio paste is then combined with sugar, milk (or an alternative milk base for lactose-free versions), and a thickening agent such as cornstarch or flour. Some recipes also include a pinch of salt to balance the sweetness and intensify the flavor of the pistachios.

The mixture is simmered, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming, until it reaches the desired consistency, similar to that of a custard. During cooking, a touch of vanilla extract or lemon zest can be added to further enrich the flavor profile of the cream.

Once ready, the pistachio cream is left to cool and then it can be used in a variety of ways: as a filling for cakes and pastries, spread on bread or rusks for a delicious breakfast, or as an ingredient to enrich ice creams and cakes.

Its smooth texture and distinctive taste make it a versatile and beloved ingredient, capable of transforming any dessert into a Sicilian culinary work of art.

Typical Sicilian products pistachio cream

Granita with brioche

Granita with brioche is one of the most popular typical Sicilian products, a perfect combination of the freshness of the granita and the softness of the brioche. Sicilian granita stands out for its crystalline texture and intense flavors, ranging from lemon to almond, from chocolate to strawberry, and of course, pistachio.

The preparation of granita begins with the creation of a syrup of water and sugar, which is then flavored with natural fruit juice or other ingredients, depending on the desired taste. This mixture is then placed in a container and placed in the freezer.

At regular intervals, the ice formed with a fork is scraped to obtain that typical grainy consistency that characterizes granita.

At the same time, brioche is prepared, a sweet and soft leavened product, which in Sicily has the particularity of having a rounded shape with a “tuppo”, or a small tuft on top.

The main ingredients are flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and baking powder, but it’s not uncommon to find variations that include flavorings like vanilla or citrus zest. After kneading and letting the dough rise, the brioches are formed and baked until golden and fragrant.

Tradition has it that the granita is served in a glass or cup, accompanied by freshly baked brioche. The brioche is opened in half and enjoyed together with the granita, in a mix of temperatures and textures that makes the experience unique and refreshing.

Granita with brioche is not just a breakfast, but a real summer ritual, a moment of pause and pleasure to be experienced slowly, savoring every spoonful and every bite.