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Do you know what Sicilians usually eat for breakfast? When I decided to create a food blog I loved the idea of posting not only mere recipes, but also stories, origins and any other information that can be interesting about our way of eating and our habits. So that is what this article is about: our breakfast!

As Sicily is a part of Italy (can’t stand those who say the opposite only because it’s an island!), Sicilian breakfast at home is like the Italian one: strong black coffee, with or without milk, with few biscuits or some sliced bread with butter and jam, possibly homemade. 

But if you do have breakfast out things change. It’s still true we can’t live without the espresso from the bar or the cappuccino (pic on the left.)

We also love fresh orange juice (squeesed in that moment!) and we usually have some delicacies with it.

The most traditional ones in Palermo and its province are: treccine (twist shaped), millefoglie, ciambelle and brioche; (up above the picture of a ciambella and a treccina).
(You’ll also find the international croissants and stuff such as Danish pastries with custard cream, apples, ecc, ...)
The dough of this four things are similar one another, the first two treccine and millefoglie (here on the left a millefoglie) are baked and have sugar on top, they only have different shapes, plus the millefoglie has got raisins as well. Ciambelle (pic on top) are fried and very similar to donuts, at least in their shape, but are bigger, softer and with caster sugar. Needless to say they are the best and all the kids love them!

I remember when I was a child and I had to go to the doctor for blood exams with my empty stomach, after that horrible experience (as a kid) only a big soft rounded ciambella could make me smile again!!! :-)))


Finally there are the briosce or brioche, the word comes from the French. Careful when you use this word in other parts of Italy because in the north (like in Milan) they call briosce a normal croissant, while we don’t because as I’ve just explained for us are two different things!

Our brioches are plain baked buns (oval or rounded like here on the right) and we eat them in many different ways: you can have an empty brioche with your cappucino in the morning, then one with ham and tomato for lunch, which we would call also sandwich, and even one with ice cream for dinner or during the afternoon!

This is how Sicilians love to eat their ice cream in Summer! So they are suitable for every need… ahah :))


Talking about the hot season I have to add that there are many Sicilians who prefer to have a lemon or pistachio granita (correct transl. is slush or ice shaved) with a lovely soft brioche instead of the hot cappuccino during the Summer season, but this is obviously up to everyone’s taste and habit, rather than a proper tradition. (By the way, the area to find the best granita is either in the Catania or Siracusa province, so in Eastern Sicily.)

I personally could’t live without my morning cappuccino even in the middle of July!

Now you can understand a little bit more about our first meal, and when you come to Sicily you will definetely know what to ask for breakfast!


  1. EmmaCiaravino ha detto:

    Ahhhhh Sicilia! How I long for you!

  2. Keith ha detto:

    What a beautiful post! I can't remember having much for breakfast when I was there, except maybe one day when I had a cappuccino and a cornetto.

    I always enjoy your posts – you make me miss being there so much!

  3. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Thank you very much Keith for your comment. There is even more stuff to say about it, maybe I will write it in a second post. Thanks for the kind words.

  4. g. williams ha detto:

    i want a sicilian breakfast !!! xxxxx

  5. MrStag ha detto:

    My father tells me when he was a boy in sicilia – a long time ago as he was born in 1929 – that he would eat olives, fruit and bread for breakfast. I guess times have changed

  6. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Absolutely times have changed a lot!!! There's such a humongous difference between the period soon after the war and now, but I have to say that a family friend of ours who had fought in WWII used to eat also olives, bread and primosale cheese for breakfast. And it continued to do so until his last day.

  7. Anonymous ha detto:

    I'm in Palermo right now and desperately looking for a breakfast place… Any name?

  8. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Hi there, there are no "breakfast places", just walk in a big bar and you will find the majority of those things. Example: Bar Santoro piazza Indipendenza or Bar Aluia in via Libertà.

  9. Unknown ha detto:

    My favorite breakfast in a little town near Taormina was lemon granita, expresso, and brioche filled with fresh whipped cream!

  10. Josie ha detto:

    When visiting family in a little town near Taormina, my favorite breakfast was lemon granita, expresso, and brioche filled with fresh whipped cream!

  11. Unknown ha detto:

    This was a great information about a Sicilian breakfast, I met a Sicilian guy and I will try to serve it to him to our next meeting. Thanks for this post and it was very helpful for me as a Filipina who loved to baked and learn a new things. 😊😊😊

  12. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Thank you for your comment my dear Filipina reader. I am glad you find it interesting. Good luck with the Sicilian breakfast and the Sicilian guy! 🙂

  13. Bella Iacono ha detto:

    No one says that Sicilia isn’t Italian because it’s an island, we say that because Italy colonized us and ‘united’ us by force in 1861 AD with the Piedmontese. Our cultures have similarities but technically evolved separately. We were the Emirate of Sicily once, and part of the Fatimid Caliphate (a caliphate that encompassed North Africa and the Middle East) before that. We’re not Italian, we were colonized by the Italians, and it’s strange to see someone disregard the history before 1861 AD.

    • thesiciliancuisine ha detto:

      Thanks for your comment.
      It’s interesting how you have given your own interpretation to something that happened to me, as I was referring to some youngsters who had no clue about 1861 and historical events. They did only say it because is an island! Sorry to burst your bubble!
      In regard to your comment Italians did not exist back then. So if you want to be precise we were colonized by Piedmont which unified the whole peninsula and the islands too. I don’t disregard anything and I think Sicily should have become independent back then, but that would be a completely different and never-ending topic, so crying out claiming we are not Italians today is just non sense.
      Oh by the way, is Hawaii saying they are not Americans? If so I did not get that memo. Ciaooo

      • Julia Pisani ha detto:

        Bella is correct that Italy colonized Sicily and Southern Italy. While Sicily has been colonized throughout history, the Italian military was the primary force behind the unionist efforts (colonization) throughout the 1860’s.

        And, just like most colonized indigenous peoples there are plenty of natives in Hawaii who don’t like to consider themselves American as their citizenship is a stark reminder of their brutal oppression by the colonial government. So I wouldn’t be surprised if there are other Sicilians like Bella who prefer not to consider themselves Italian simply due to the technicalities of forced colonization. Your analogy unfortunately worked against you here. 🙂

        • thesiciliancuisine ha detto:

          It does make me smile a lot but I really don’t think Sicilian-Americans can speak about what Sicilians (especially young generations) think or not think about what it means to be Sicilian and being colonized in the second half of the 19th century. Besides, for decades, the story of the colonization was not even taught to kids in schools, nor found in history books, so your point I am afraid does not make sense. Interesting though!
          By the way, I would be surprised if Bella was Sicilian. I bet she is Sicilian-American.
          Big difference! Huge!

  14. M. Vinci ha detto:

    Even though my grandparents immigrated from Licata after WW1, we never consider ourselves anything but Sicilian Americans. Two generations later I’m still 100% Sicilian by blood. We grew up with only Sicilian being spoken not Italian. Sicilian traditions not Italian. Sicilian Food. My point being is that our Sicilian families left before the unification and have preserved the Sicilian ways.

    • thesiciliancuisine ha detto:

      Hello and thanks for your comment M. Vinci.

      You are absolutely right, Italian traditions can be tricky to identify, considering every region has its own, in particular a unique island like Sicily. Even inside Sicily, the region is so big that we have different food and different dialect in different provinces, so in your case I am guessing your family has preserved the tradition of their hometown in the States!

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