Food on the Aegadian Islands
There are plenty of things to think about when travelling somewhere new. What currency should you take? How much Money will you need? How should you dress? How much of the native language should you learn beforehand? It’s often easy to overlook the simple things, especially when it comes to food. We each have a specific taste, that’s nothing new, but what kind of food do the Aegadian Islands hold on store for you?
Due to its proximity much of the culture on the Aegadian Islands is closely linked to its much larger and better known neighbour, Sicily. When it comes to cuisine those similarities are certainly present and much of it is similar, if you’ve been to Sicily before you’ll know pretty much what to expect here too. This cuisine draws heavily on the areas multicultural past with influences from almost every culture that’s washed ashore over the last millennium or two. Some of its earliest inspirations come from settlers from Ancient Greece, things like olives, pistachios, fresh vegetables and of course fish all begin here. Much of the way they deal with fruits, desserts, rice and spices finds its roots in the Arab occupation of the area in both the 10th and 11th centuries. Later with the arrival of the Normans and the Staufers meat dishes were introduced to the menu and finally later still foods from the New World were introduced by the Spanish. This consisted of things like cocoa, peppers, tomatoes and maize.
Fish is likely the most common food on the island seeing as it’s so readily available. Many of the people that live in these small populations are fisherman so it can be found anywhere. Fish like sea bass, cuttlefish, swordfish, sea bream and tuna are usually on the menu. Tuna in particular is common here and the islands have a history of preparing it thanks to their convenient location for the migration of the fish. The best thing about this is you can happy knowing that odds are you’ll be eating the freshest fish available.
For those of you that are perhaps vegetarian or vegan do not worry, there’s still some great options on the menu for you too. Something of a region favourite and a must try even if you aren’t plant based is a dish called caponata. It’s a varied dish that will likely be different wherever you try it except for one key detail; it always has an aubergine base. The aubergines are cooked amongst a host of available vegetables and spices so it’s both sweet and sour in a tomato sauce. Think of it as a hot salad that will leave no one disappointed.
Italy is world renowned for its fine cuisine and Sicily and its surrounding islands match that quality with every bite. Its food is like Italian with a multicultural twist that I’d go as far to say improves each dish it touches. By all means worry about forgetting your toothbrush but don’t worry about the food, they have you covered.