Six Things Only Sicilians Understand About Food

Because when it comes to food, Sicilians don’t joke around

If you’re not Sicilian, then you won’t get it.

Ah, Sicily. Dancing to its dialect, showcasing ancient historical sights, this southern island is home to spectacular beaches, an active volcano, and succulent mouth-watering to-die-for food. (Yes, I’m completely biased; note the vowels in my last name.)

It’s no surprise Sicilians know a thing or two about food…

Desserts = Heaven

Sicilians respect tasty treats. Authentic cannoli with pistachio shavings are still sweet, but taste richer than ricotta desserts here. Other delicacies include cassata (ricotta cheesecake), marzipan, and granita on brioche (think sorbet on a roll — for breakfast!). Genius.

Join the Clean Plate Club

“Mangiare, mangiare!” Eat, eat, eat! Even when you’re full, a plate with food remaining means you didn’t enjoy it. “Why no finish?” is not what you want your server to ask.

Stop everything and eat!

Remember that elementary school acronym, SEAR: stop everything and read? In Sicily, if it’s 2 p.m. and you’re frolicking at the beach, you’re stopping everything to go home for lunch!

The Meal is an Event

Instead of mindless eating in your car or the subway (yuck), Sicilians savor each bite. Lunch and late-night dinners last for hours over a long table with famiglia, laughter, and vino. (Ditch afternoon snacks — no need, nor any room. See above for clean plate club.)

Start, Start!

When you’re served, start eating pronto! No need to wait for others to be served. Whether it’s a pepperoni pizza or savory Mediterranean fish, dig in ASAP.

Go organic

No processed ingredients necessary. Sicilians keep it simple, like a bowl of linguini with freshly crushed tomatoes and pecorino shavings. That’s it. Delete thick gravy (a.k.a. spaghetti sauce) from those cabinets.  


Vicki Salemi is a special contributor to The Daily Meal. All photos