The kitchen, especially if open-space is where we spend most of the time in Sicily.
Every Sicilian family loves their kitchen, because we love food, not only eating it but also cooking it and we always hang out there opening fridge and cupboards staring at the products or ingredients that we may or may not use in our meal.
What pasta am I gonna prepare today? Which vegs I have got at home? What snack can I have with my coffee?
Now, while opening those doors in a Sicilian kitchen you know for sure there are some items that cannot be missed. I am not talking about flour, sugar or tomatoes of course.
I am talking about those specific items that are a real MUST and definitely make you say… that’s undoubtedly Sicilian stuff!
Home is not home in Sicily if you are missing these must haves.
Let’s find out what they are:
#1 Caciocavallo cheese both grated and in big chunks
the most famous Sicilian caciocavallo is the one from Ragusa, called Ragusano but it is produced in the whole island.
#2 Anelletti Siciliani (packet of 1 kg)
Anelletti means little rings. They are the most traditional pasta type for all our festivities, we prepare them with tomato sauce and a million other ingredients, then we bake them in the oven until they become crunchy on top and we love them so much!
#3 Marsala Wine
Where should I start? Well…, we have a bottle of Marsala for cooking and a different one for drinking.
This is how much we love Marsala!
#4 Sicilian lemons
No matter the season we need our lemons. And apparently so it does the rest of the world, as everywhere I go, I see product made with Sicilian lemons! I wonder if it is true…
We have two types of raisins in Sicily which are used for different things: uvetta sultanina and uva passa or passolina.
Normally the uvetta sultanina is paired with pine nuts (and breadcrumb like in the pic on the left) and we use this amazing combination in several savoury dishes, like eggplant rolls, sarde a beccafico and many more.
The passolina (raisins) is the one used for desserts instead.
#6 Cassata baking tin
Ok, not everyone bakes their own cassata, I give you that. But it is still an important item to have in your kitchen whenever you decide is time to give it a try! It is never to late my friend…
#7 Sicilian handmade ceramics
It doesn’t matter if comes from Santo Stefano di Camastra, Sciacca or Caltagirone, as long as it is bright and full of colours like our beautiful island. That’s all we want! A plate, a vase, a bowl or the typical “lemmo”, whatever it is, it will scream Sicilian!
#8 Moulds made of cast for making marzipan fruits (November 2nd) or marzipan sheep (Easter)
Traditionally family makes them at home, they don’t buy them and in many families we still do it, including mine, where grandma and grandpa teach the young generation how you do a proper marzipan chestnut or a proper marzipan sheep!
#9 Anice Unico Tutone
I mean the name says it all. It is a unique product and Tutone is a unique brand.
And in the summer season is more vital than water itself!
#10 An old Sicilian food book or a handwritten book of Sicilian recipes coming from your mum or dad or grandparents
This is pretty self explanatory as we love to preserve and pass on our traditional dishes. ~Every family has some books to look at when it comes to traditional Sicilian recipes. In my family we have some precious ones taken directly from my grandpa Pietro, who was an authentic “pasticcere” (pastry chef & confectioner).
Now GAME is OVER folks: – How much did you score? Is it 10 out of 10?
If you have scored less than 5, do not worry, there is still plenty of time for Sicilian redemption!!! Ah Ah !!!
And which is the most popular item of all? Leave me a comment below and let me know which ones are your Sicilian must haves. Thanks for reading and have fun!