If you have chosen an accommodation in Marsala, Trapani, San Vito Lo Capo, Scopello or similar from our selection of villas in Sicily, then you are about to discover the wonders of the province of Trapani. Western Sicily is an enchanting area, with plenty of unspoilt and verdant landscapes, Nature Reserves, stunning hamlets and elegant cities with beautiful baroque historic centers, ancient archaeological sites and interesting museums: a wide range of evidences of the extraordinary heritage that various cultures and populations have been leaving to this charming land.
And one of these evidences is local cooking tradition indeed: colors and flavors from different cultures and traditions are mixed together to create unforgettable dishes. Arab spices combine with local typical products, the fruits of the prosperous ground are mixed together and perfectly matched with flavored wines… A gourmet experience that you’ll definitely wish to be able to take home with you. And who said you can’t, after all?
The most famous Trapanese recipe is couscous: a taste of this delicious dish and you’ll be taken back to the time when the Arabs dominated Sicily. Couscous is steamed in a very flavorful fish broth (made with eels, cod, grouper and more), which is actually the main feature that gives this recipe such a delicious taste, and garnished with almonds, chili pepper, saffron, fresh tomatoes, parsley, bay leafs, onion, garlic, celery, carrots, salt and pepper. The result is a perfect combination of flavors that grows and grows at every bite. Every restaurant in this area serves couscous: ask the chef which wine is the best match… We recommend a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay – even better.
Almonds grow everywhere around the area, alongside with carobs and olives: local cuisine is full of delicious recipes with almonds, but we believe that the best way to taste them is in the famous trapanese pesto, used as a dressing for pasta or just spread on roasted bread with sesame seeds. Local “busiate” fresh pasta is perfect with this pesto: you’ll see that the flavor that comes from such a simple recipe is almost unbelievable. It’s made with tomatoes, basil, almonds, garlic, salt and olive oil, beaten together and then just put upon a plate of “al dente” pasta. Such a simple recipe that you’ll be able to replicate it as soon as you’re back home!
And of course, this is a seaside land: fish is an important part of the cooking tradition of Trapani. The city and the whole area (especially the island of Favignana) was once a huge producer of tuna; nowadays the production has been reduced, but is still a trademark of this province. We highly recommend a taste of the red tuna of Favignana, and of a special gourmet recipe: pasta with “bottarga”, salted and dried tuna eggs that can be enjoyed even only on a slice of bread.
The whole area of Trapani is also very famous for wine production, especially in the district of Marsala: we’ll dedicate a post to this city that is the World Wine Capital of 2013!
And now, your turn: what’s the best recipe you tasted during your holiday in Trapani? Share your gourmet experience in the comments!