Italian Food: Favorite Foods of Sicily

Photo of author

Screen Shot 2013-03-08 at 7.02.17 AM

By Ralph Molinari

Italian food and Sicilian food come with a lot of flavor and style, which represents the lifestyles of both Italians and Sicilians. Many people think of them as one in the same, but Sicilians practice many customs that differ from their mainland Italian countrymen. These differences include food. Sicilians use a lot of fish in their everyday diet, amongst many other more middle eastern variations. This comes as no surprise as Sicily is an island in the Mediterranean sea, where fishing is a huge part of the culture and economy.

Sicilians enjoy food such as fried rice croquettes with mozzarella, zucchini stuffed with cheese and an anchovy, fried olives with meat, and fried fillets to name a few. One dish that is popular among the locals is Porchetta; which is a roasted pig that makes a fatty and tasty meal that they find delicious. Another dish is Gnocchi alla Romana; a dish made of parmesan, flour, and eggs made into balls and boiled in milk then baked.

A lot of the foods we find in Sicily are made into balls and either fried or baked. Other predominately Sicilian food are deep fried balls of rice with a filling of bolognese and peas. You may also find fried balls of ricotta cheese. If you like fish, you might enjoy their calamari stuffed with bread crumbs and fish, baked in the oven.

When traveling through Italy and Sicily, you will begin to notice that there are many differences in the cooking styles and types of food they eat. They offer special kinds of cheeses, breads and wines. They make a variety of pasta sauces, each unique in its own way, depending on what region you are visiting. They have pasta cooked and prepared in numerous ways. Pizza and pasta are both favorites in the Italian restaurants as well as being prepared in the homes. Sicily boasts some of the finest sauces with various ingredients, many including fish and shellfish.

Some of the characteristics of Italian and Sicilian food are the simple preparations of the food with occasionally just a few ingredients. When people think of Italian food, the two foods that most come to mind are pasta and pizza, but Sicilian cuisine is so much more than this. To get some samples of what Sicilian and Italian food taste like you can visit local Italian restaurants and try this delicious cuisine. Many Sicilians emigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s and brought their cuisine along with them. Sicilians enjoy foods such as cheeses, pasta, fish, artichokes, vegetables, red wines, and so much more. The food is prepared in ways that are quite different than in some areas making the food much more unique in taste. Sicily is known for its seafood, meat dishes, and the wonderful desserts, so you want to be sure to try all of their favorite foods when in Sicily or in an Italian eatery here in the States. Sicilians predominately settled in the Tri State areas of New York, NJ and CT, but they can be found all across the U.S. and in many amazing Italian restaurants.

Ralph Molinari is a restaurant owner in Neptune City, NJ. Molinari’s Restaurant & Pizzeria specializes in Monmouth County Italian Food Catering. Ralph has been a restaurant owner and proprietor on the Jersey shore for nearly 20 years. For more information about Ralph visit his website at