LCatanese food and wine is a true world heritage site: flavours so incredible that they explode in the mouth, dreamlike and inviting aromas, colours that captivate the eye even before the palate.
Whether you're a tourist or a Catania native, are you ready to experience an unforgettable journey of discovery through Catania's typical culinary traditions? Here you will find 10 wonders that you absolutely must taste: explore and be surprised.
The 10 must-try wonders?
This is one of the first questions asked by Italian and foreign tourists visiting the city. A place, after all, is the soul of its streets, buildings, landscapes and even its cuisine and culinary traditions. And Catania has plenty of stories to tell. Here are 10 of them, all to be enjoyed.
- Catania's arancino
- The Sicilian cannolo
- Minnuzze or Minne di Sant'Agata or cassatine
- Pasta alla Norma
- Spaghetti alla Carrettiera
- Olivette of Sant'Agata
- Horse meat
1. Catania's arancino
The arancino of Catania - arancina is said in Palermo - is the undisputed king of typical Sicilian street food. Its shape celebrates theEtnaIts taste is reminiscent of tradition. Made of rice, usually stuffed with meat sauce but also with other tasty ingredients, the arancino is then breaded and fried. A delicacy that you can't miss!
2. The Sicilian cannolo
The iconic Sicilian dessert. The cannolo has a crunchy shell that envelops a soft, sweet cream made from sheep's milk ricotta. The wafer that crunches in your teeth is fried shortcrust pastry and, as many people say, the ricotta from Catania that fills it is the best on the island.
The cannolo is a must on your holiday in Catania.
3. Minnuzze or Minne di Sant'Agata or cassatine
Saint Agatha is the patron saint of Catania and this cake is a celebration of that. Tradition has it that, at a young age, St Agatha did not succumb to the flattery of the proconsul Quinziano and for this reason a breast was torn off, which then inspired the shape of the famous cake from Catania. The shape of the minnuzze, as the name suggests, is that of a small breast.
The delicious-tasting cake is made of sponge cake, sheep's milk ricotta and royal pastry with a red candied cherry to resemble a nipple.
4. Pasta alla Norma
Are you looking for the Catania's most popular first course? Here it is, it's pasta alla norma, a pasta with tomato sauce topped with fried aubergines, flakes of salted ricotta and basil. Its taste is truly unforgettable!
Brioche is a delicious and soft leavened cake, usually accompanied by a fresh granita or velvety ice cream. Soft and with an intoxicating aroma, in Catania it is an institution that accompanies breakfast and/or snacks.
Fresh and tasty, granita is a dessert made from water, sugar and fruit. Lemon or orange granita, typical Sicilian citrus fruits, is delicious. You should also try almond granita and pistachio granita, even better if accompanied by a soft and fluffy brioche.
7. Spaghetti alla Carrettiera
A thick drizzle of Sicilian oil, the intensity of raw garlic, pepper and a sprinkling of grated pecorino cheese: spaghetti alla Carrettiera is a delight for the palate.
They originate from ancient traditions, more specifically from the carrettieri, who in the Sicily of the past transported all kinds of goods from one city to another. Always travelling, all they wanted was to be able to eat tasty pasta, which was quick and could be prepared with products that were easy to preserve, such as oil and garlic.
8. Olivette of Sant'Agata
Yes, St Agatha, the city's patron saint, is back again, but what will surprise you is that olivette is a sweet, named after the shape of an olive. A delicious dessert from Cataniamade of almond paste covered in sugar and coloured green.
Iris is an exquisite dessert that originated in Palermo but is also typical of the city of Catania. An explosion of taste for this soft, fried, cream-filled dough or chocolate cream. Try it!
10. Horse meat
Catania is also known for its horse meat. There are many dishes that the city offers based on this type of meat, many horse butchers and many places where you can enjoy delicious recipes. Definitely try meatballs and catanese horse sausage!
If you have come this far, it means that you are now really ready to get to know Catania's culinary tradition, to venture into its narrow streets and give pure joy to your palate and heart.
Do you want to have an unforgettable experience in Catania?