Sicily Yacht Charter – Aah the Food of Sicily
Bareboat sailing through the coastal towns of Sicily (Cefalu and Palermo) and its various islands (Favignana Citta, Pantelleria, Ustica, etc.) is a rare opportunity to get an up close feel for the island’s historical culinary traditions. I love going with my friends into town after a day out on the water to visit with the local town people. We usually end up enjoying a glass of wine, laughing about the day’s adventures and sampling the many dishes Sicily has to offer.
The People of Sicily are Sicilian first and Italian Second
People in the smaller towns such as Cefalu have lived in the area for generations and their families have created long standing customs of how to prepare local cuisine. Even today, you will find many Sicilians who have not ventured very far from their homeland. There is no better place to boatboat charter than Sicily and its surrounding islands where the people are loyal to their land, food and wine which reflects their deep connection to both the ocean and terra firma.
A short video on Cefalu
Sicilian Cuisine is Influenced by Many Centuries of Invasion and Conquest
Bareboat sailors often have to travel long distances to experience diversity in culinary culture. The History of Sicilian Cooking is different because the island was invaded by a multitude of nations (Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans and Spanish) all of which left their mark on various local dishes. The Greeks introduced modern agricultural techniques which were vital for the establishment of various fruits such as pomegranates, apples, figs, olives, currants and grapes. Other nations such as Spain helped introduce prickly pears and couscous, while the North African’s added orange salads and the Arabs Pasta and Marzipan. Nearly every dish common in Sicilian cuisines calls upon 2,500 years of cross-cultural influences from the Greeks and Romans to the Arabs, Normans and Spanish.
Pasta con le Sarde is the one classic Sicilian dish that Sums up its Culinary History
There is one dish that sums up Sicily’s entire culinary history and that is Pasta con le Sarde. Sicily is an island and many of its dishes rely heavily upon fish as a main ingredient. Sardines, Tuna, Swordfish and some other smaller fishes are always popular choices. Pasta con le Sarde is a very straightforward dish consisting of spaghetti (usually bucatini), fennel, onions, and sardines, anchovies, saffron and garnished with currants (or sultanas), pine nuts and breadcrumbs.
Each of these ingredients were either introduced or refined by one of Sicily’s many conquerors. The availability of inexpensive and high quality ingredients such as onions, pine nuts and olive oil are attributed to the Greeks. The Moors introduced dried fruit and pasta while Spanish contributed saffron and wild fennel. All in all, it is a lovely dish which combines almost 2,500 years of culinary history. If you are interested in trying this dish at home I recommend visiting, “All things Sicilian and More” for an excellent recipe and a little more background information on Sicilan cooking.
I really enjoy this recipe because it not only tastes great but it reminds me of Sicily’s rich culinary history and allows me to share in the unique spirit of the Sicilian people.