Sicilian cuisine is the expression of the culinary art developed in Sicily since ancient times and is closely linked to the historical, cultural and religious events of the island.
Since the times of Ancient Greece, a very specific style of culinary habits had been developing in Sicily which over the centuries has been enriched with new flavors and new dishes, following the historical vicissitudes of the Mediterranean island.
It is therefore a regional gastronomic culture that shows traces and contributions of all the cultures that have settled in Sicily in the last two millennia, handed down from generation to generation as well as in the literary field, which explains why some recipes, of very ancient origin, they are still prepared and served frequently at the table.
In the general context, it can be said that Sicilian cuisine is a reason for recognition and common identity for Sicilians and, in the modern era, a reason for tourist attraction. With the effect of emigration abroad, this cuisine has been exported to many locations, far from the homeland.
Complex and articulated, Sicilian cuisine is often considered the richest in specialties and the most scenic in Italy. Some of the best known foods, widespread not only regionally but even worldwide, are the Sicilian cassata, iris, Sicilian cannoli, granita and arancini. Thanks to its mild climate, the island is rich in spices and aromatic plants; oregano, mint, rosemary, are daily part of the Sicilian condiments. The fertile soil produces oranges and lemons in large quantities. Almonds, prickly pear, pistachio and olives are other culinary symbols in which the island excels.
Although overall the food character of this cuisine is unified, one of its characteristics is that of having for each territory, albeit of a reduced perimeter or proximity to another territory, culinary dishes limited to that specific area, for which the same recipe becomes almost impossible to find by moving to another area of the island. In most cases these are variants of the same regional recipe, but in some cases these foods, such as the Palermo "panelle" or the "muccunetti" from Mazara del Vallo, are prepared and marketed only in their area of origin. This food characteristic has often led to a culinary division between western Sicily, central Sicily and eastern Sicily.