Cuisine of Sicily

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The Sicilian cuisine shows traces of all the cultures which established themselves on the island over the last two millennia. Although its cuisine undoubtably has a predominantly Italian base, Sicilian food also has Spanish, Greek and Arab influences.

Contents

History

The use of apricots, sugar, citrus, sweet melons, rice, saffron, raisins, nutmeg, clove, pepper, pine nuts, cinnamon (along with fried preparations) is a sign of Arab influences from the Arab domination of Sicily in the 10th and 11th centuries.[1]

Normans and Hohenstaufen influences are also found, such as in the fondness for meat dishes, such as Bruscialoni[2]. Later, the Spanish introduced numerous items from the New World, including cocoa, maize, turkey, and tomatoes and other produce.[3] In Catania, on the east coast, initially settled by Greek colonists, fish, olives, broad beans, and fresh vegetables are preferred instead. Much of the island's cuisine encourages the use of fresh vegetables such as eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes, and fish such as tuna, sea bream, sea bass, cuttlefish, and swordfish. In Trapani in the extreme western corner of the island, North African influences are clear in the use of couscous.

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