A trip to Sicily is also a journey of taste. The region has plenty to offer in terms of art and landscapes, but the other thing that stands out is undoubtedly its cuisine, which reaches the highest quality from starters through to desserts.
Sicilian patisserie is some of the best in the world and the most important ingredient is ricotta, which is expertly worked and used in the most famous recipes. It is the main ingredient of Sicilian cassata and cannoli, desserts that can be found throughout the island, but are often at their best in Catania.
Ricotta is also found in Raviola and Iris pastries, which often feature in generous breakfasts. Speaking of Catania breakfasts, we can’t not mention granita. Every Sicilian city interprets it in its own way and it’s hard to find an authentic Sicilian granita in other parts of Italy.
In Catania granita is usually eaten for breakfast, accompanied by whipped cream and a typical brioche “col tuppo”. Of course you can eat it particularly in summer, but in the best bars, Sicilians and tourists can enjoy it all year round.
Another typical Sicilian dessert is paste di mandorla, or almond biscuits, which are simple but very good. It is also worth mentioning the marzipan, widely used in Sicilian confectionery in general, for example for making Frutta Martorana, very beautiful and tasty sweets.
Artisan ice cream in Catania
Artisan ice cream in Catania is a kind of religion. Ice cream parlours and bars offer very good ice creams of impressive sizes that satisfy local residents and often surprise tourists.
There’s not just pastries, biscuits, ice-creams and typical sweets in a Catania bakery, there’s also a wide selection of delicious cakes, one of which is the Torta Savoia.
This is a cake made with layers of sponge cake interspersed with chocolate and hazelnut cream, covered with a delicious chocolate glaze. According to tradition, it was prepared by the Benedictine nuns of Catania when Sicily was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy, in honour of the House of Savoy.
There are also many other desserts worthy of note, such as olivette di Sant’Agata, nougat, Nzuddi and many other delicacies that justify a visit to the city in themselves.