TOP FIVE SICILIAN FOOD FESTIVALS YOU HAVE TO VISIT
Sicily, or Sicilia in Italian, is the largest Island in the Mediterranean Sea. In every corner, food is considered an art-form and is vital to the local culture. With every town claiming a patron saint, religious festivals can be very spectacular affairs and, not surprisingly, involve plenty of delicious food! Many of the small towns and villages hold local sagre, dedicated to celebrating their most famous agricultural produce.
But if hopping on a plane to sun-scored Sicily isn’t an option, then hop on the tube to Piccadilly Circus and swing by Tasting Sicily Enzo’s Kitchen for food as authentic as it is on the island.
Celebrity TV chef, Enzo Oliveri brings his traditional Cucina Siciliana to London with authentic regional recipes. Many of the dishes are recipes lifted from Sicily’s enchanting landscapes. If Chef Enzo has got you hooked on Sicilian cuisine, then here are five food festivals have you to visit.
(All the food mentioned – ricotta, couscous, Bronte pistachio, walnuts, honey, and Modica chocolate – are on our menu and used by Chef Enzo!)
1. Cannolo Festival in Piana degli Albanesi – In April, don’t miss the Festival of the ricotta cannoli in Piana degli Albanesi, in the province of Palermo, where an entire festival in the first week of May is dedicated to the fabulous ricotta-filled cannolo. With up to 50,000 cannoli reputedly sold over a mere three days during the events, the reputation of Sicily’s favourite sweet treat speaks for itself. The day ends with music, entertainment and performances by local folk groups.
2. CousCous Festival Sicily in San Vito Lo Capo – one of Sicily’s most popular and international festivals, celebrating a dish that is eaten by millions and cooked in myriad different ways. The focus of the festival is a highly competitive cook-off involving leading international chefs arriving from Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Turkey the Ivory Coast, and many other nations. Live music, dancing, and a carnival atmosphere make the event a must for anyone staying in western Sicily towards the end of September!
3. Bronte pistachio Festival in Bronte – held in the autumn in the slopes of Mount Etna in early October. The town of Bronte – the world capital of pistachios – holds a three-day festival dedicated to the island’s sweet, fragrant ‘green gold’! Widely considered to be amongst the best in the world and protected by a DOP label. Come and try them in all forms – cakes, ice-cream, pasta and much more – at this wonderful tribute a humble but exceedingly tasty and versatile nut.
4. The many festivals in Etna (October) – including the Walnut Festival in Motta Camastra (recognised as one of the richest Selenium content walnut in the world) – the town of Alcantara Gorges, or in the small town of Zafferana on Etna, the Ottobrata Zafferanese, a weekend dedicated to apples, mushrooms, honey, and chestnuts with the involvement of cooking schools that prepare meals for the visitors.
5. Choco-Modica in Modica – in December we move to Modica, near Ragusa to celebrate its gem: chocolate. You should take part to the Choco-Modica and celebrate chocolate among the baroque wonders in the town.