Paolo Cricchio


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A Real Culinary Experience



_QE20140What we want to offer you during our trips is also a REAL CULINARY EXPERIENCE. All the country houses and hotel we choose to host you were selected by us for their very good products and dishes. In each place we decided with owners the menu to give you during every dinner the possibility to taste in the dishes always different flavours and tastes. Franco, as formed travel Journalist, and Paolo, as former cook, have a lot of experience in the field so was done a very good work.
All the products used for your meals are, we say, "Zero Kilometres" (produced in the area). In the dishes are often used wild vegetables collected in the Park like mushrooms, asparagus, lettuces, artichokes, fennels and many more. The dishes naturally change depending the season.
The Sicilian cuisine is very rich and various and changes very much from the coast and the mountains, from Province to Province.  Making just 10 kilometres will change almost all in the food: kinds of bread, wines, recipes, pastries. Some plates are common in the entire Island but each city, town or village has his own culinary traditions that can be really different despite a very short distance. You will find everywhere the "caponatina", the "parmigiana", the "arancini" , for example,  but if you go in Palermo and then in  Catania you will find differences in the making of all of them. Into the classic "arancino al sugo" , for example,  in Palermo there is inside only tomato sauce with meat only, in Catania also cheese, sometimes green pies and instead that meat a "ragout of meat" and the consistency of the cooked rise change a lot too. If you look at the rest of the very many items of the "Sicilian fast food" that you can eat in the so called "Tavola Calda" (hot table) in the Bars you will see how totally different they are  from East to West to South-East Sicily. In the restaurants the differences in the menus offered are even greater. To have a serious knowledge of Sicilian food need to go to eat in good restaurants at least in Palermo, Catania, Trapani, Syracuse and Ragusa. This not considering the very many islands of Sicily, all of them with their food specialities.
Along the coast the Sicilian cuisine is based mainly on fish, in the mountains ONLY on MEAT. Pig, veal, lamb, beef, chicken, rabbit, castrated ram, sheep and goat are cooked in very different ways but certainly the favourite way to cook meat by the Sicilians is barbecued.
CHEESES and COLD MEATS are also very important. Sicily is too hot and humid to make hams but is perfect to have exquisite salami, bacon, lard, _QE20411sausages. In the Nebrodi is breed the "little black pig of the Nebrodi", a small pig that live free in the woods that has a really exquisite taste. CHEESES are coming from cow, sheep and goat, sometimes mixed together like in the "caciocavallo". "Pecorino, ricotta, primo sale, tuma" are the most common cheeses of the mountains we are crossing on horseback (in Sicily there are at least 50 different kind of cheese) but there are also some variations of them most difficult to find.
The PASTA, fresh or dried, changes also a lot with at least a couple of  hundred different ways to be prepared A lot of sauces are with artichokes, mushrooms, eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes and many other local vegetables.
Sicilians are famous also for their PASTRIES: "cassata", "cannoli", "pasta di mandorle","zeppole" (only on Catania side), "crispelle", "semifreddi" of various kinds (almond, pistachio, strawberry) are common but almost every village has his traditional, very specific, cakes. In almost every good bar in Sicily, the show of homemade ICE CREAMS is simply amazing and irresistible with no less than 10-20 different flavours. Some are very traditional, some are just _QE20433coming from the latest fantasy of the maker.  You will try them.
Just few words on the most common and more difficult to make Italian food: PIZZA. To make a real good pizza is really difficult and complicated and so we will give you also at least one possibility to eat one pizza really well done.
WINES of Sicily had in the last few years a real boom. Are very famous from long time the 18 Sicilian D.O.C. wines (Controlled Denomination of Origin) made with the very many Sicilian grapes but is with the NERO d'AVOLA grape (black from Avola) that Sicilians were able to really conquer the world. Some top producers of NERO d'AVOLA wines won lately the most important world awards with this special grape that gives very structured wines, perfect for all kind of meat and cheese.
Even our WATER is zero kilometres. In our trips we offer along the trails always pure fresh water from mountain springs and, at dinner, mineral waters in bottle coming almost all from Madonie or Etna sources (Geraci and Cavagrande waters). Not to be forgotten is  the "DIGESTIVE" at end of dinner: "limoncello", "amaro", "rosolio" of different kinds, often homemade, are always present at end of a Sicilian dinner as a good ESPRESSO COFFE, if you like. Few knows  that an  Espresso coffee has a lot less caffeine then a classic American coffee but there are so many things unknown on Italian and Sicilian food that we will be happy to explain a lot more thing about our proud culinary tradition.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 December 2013 16:28

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