The territory of Syracuse and its province let the traveller enjoy a large variety of traditional dishes. Along the southern Ionian coast, seafood cuisine is excellent and shows traces of all the cultures which established themselves on this part of the island over the last two millennia. Although it is predominantly based on Italian Cuisine, Syracusan food also has Spanish, Greek and Arab influences.
The typical dishes in this area are usually pasta with various kind of seafood, which is cooked to exhalt the flavor to the delicious dishes of traditional Sicilian cuisine: spaghetti or linguine with squid ink, fish roe (bottarga), shellfish, shrimp sauce with anchovies and toasted bread
. Much of the island's cuisine encourages the use of fresh local vegetables such as aubergines, peppers and tomatoes (among which the famous incredibly sweet small cherry tomatoes from Pachino called “ciliegino” or “pomodorino”). Fresh fish is prepared in many different ways to achieve inimitable tastes, from tuna to cuttlefish and swordfish to the whole blue fish, octopus, bass, bream, groupers, snappers, sea urchins, mussels and clam, lobsters, prawns etc.
Another remarkable tradition typical of the Siracusan province is that of the “pizzolo”, a double pizza (very different from Calzone) with a crusty top covered with parmesan cheese and spices, stuffed with sweet or savoury ingredients typical of the province of Syracuse, and the tradition of the “vota vota”, wrapped local specialities made with eggplant, peppers, sausages and various cheeses, along with the sicilian Arancini.
In hilly and mountainous hinterland it is possible to taste the inimitable home made sausage of Palazzolo, while in Buccheri (near Pantalica) and the surroundings wild boar sausages and other local meats are available.
The bread from Lentini is different from others because of its compact soft interior with small bubbles and a thin and soft crust. The strict rules of production imposed by the tradition ensure a slow leavening, that makes the bread even more rich in flavor and more digestible. Honey and almonds are among the main ingredients of confectionery production, characterized by evident Arabic influences, such as the incredibly good cannoli with sweet ricotta.
The famous cassata takes its a name from an Arabic word, "Quas-at" meaning deep bowl. The Syracusan Cassata differs from the Palermitan one for the absence of icing and the composition of layers of sponge cake, sweet ricotta and chocolate. In the territories near Avola and Palazzolo, as well as landscapes of great beauty and cultural itineraries of great interest, it is possible to find many bakeries that produce delicious sweets such as nougat, made with almonds and different varieties of local honey. In Siracusa in october and november the Zeppole are produced, typical fried pancakes in shape of little balls stuffed with ricotta or chocolate. In Siracusa, Noto and Palazzolo you can also enjoy original ice creams of all the most various flavours, almond-milk, citrus marmalade and “granita” flavored coffee, lemon, orange, toasted or white almonds, strawberry or back mulberry.
The production of good wines is one of the most important part of the Syracusan tradition. Some historians have identified the Syracusan muscat wine with that of Thrace. This, together with muscat of Noto, are considered the oldest wines of Italy. Today in the territories of Pachino, Noto and Avola Rosolini the main grape variety is the world famous “Nero d'Avola” (Black from Avola), whose grapes are characterized by the fact that the structure of the plant, similar to a small tree, produces full-bodied and fragrant intense flavor red wines of very good stiffness.
Our staff will give you all the indications and information not only about where to get all these specialities, but also tips about how to cook sicilian dishes. It is not rare that, especially in winter, we cook meals for ourselves in the hostel's kitchen and then happily share our meals with our guests, giving them the recipes and showing them how to prepare sicilian dishes.