As with any cultural cooking style, to group all the nuances of Italian cooking into one category overlooks so many eclectic nuances, regional influences and pragmatic adaptations to food that have developed over centuries within a culture. So to say Sicilian food is Italian only explains half of the story.
Sicilian cuisine is an amalgamation of all the influential cultures occupying this tiny oasis throughout history. Although Italian at its core, the food model of this Southern Italian style is one of Greek, Spanish and Arab cultures as well.
Sicilian style is known for its bold, fresh flavors. Given the terroir, climate and geographic proximity to so many other interesting food cultures, it is easy to see why it has never really been necessary to complicate their dishes.
Many of the regions’ most remarkable dishes are also very simple in their design, but often bring together so many flavorful pieces that translate into a deeply rich taste. The offerings include an abundance of exquisite fruits and vegetables, all freshly available with the sea life as well playing a major role, as it does in many coastal communities.
Food is a priority in this culture and the expectation is most often focused on high quality. Notable food items include:
- Nuts, seeds and fruits like Almonds, Aniseed, Apricots, Candied Fruits, Fennel, Figs, Lemons, Oranges, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Pomegranates, Sesame Seeds and, of course, Tomatoes
- Vegetables like Artichoke, Broccoli, Eggplant, Onions, Potatoes and Squash
- Spices, seasonings and flavors like Basil, Bay Leaf, Capers, Chili peppers, Cinnamon, Currants, Garlic, Mint, Nutmeg, Oregano, Parsley and Saffron
- Seafood like Anchovies, Tuna, Sardines, Shrimp and Swordfish
- Beans, grains and legumes like Chickpeas, Fava beans, Aborio or Vialone Rice
- Olives, olive oil, vinegar
- Artisan style cheeses from goat and sheep’s milk
Though it has been a way of life for centuries, to talk about the ingredients in traditional Sicilian cooking today is like reading a more contemporary food guide for the trends in eating well.
The Cervasi family traces its roots to Sicily, which is why you’ll find this underlying theme in the selection, quality and variety of products we offer. More than a single category of food, Cervasi has always been a specialty ingredient company, one that concentrates on the food styles we have known from our heritage, but celebrates the adaptation of these foods into contemporary culture.
Check out our recipe section for information on easy, crowd-pleasing dishes. Check back often for new production information as well as tips and tricks for simply, great food.