Sicily is a melting pot of gastronomic heritage, found in the best Sicilian cheese and street food that you can sample during your Italy vacation.
The exceptional cuisine of Sicily uses local ingredients to create flavors for a culinary adventure featured in surprising spices or indulgent textures. Whether enjoying authentic Sicilian cheese with wine or sampling street food at stalls in popular marketplaces, the cuisine represents the island’s eclectic heritage.
The following list focuses on the best cheese and street food you will discover as you wander the streets of Sicily to find cannoli, arancini, capers, ricotta cheese, and more.
Cheese has been produced on the island of Sicily for over two millennia. The age, style, and traditional production have changed from province to province. This has resulted in various kinds of cheese, from fresh to aged, and those made from cow’s, sheep’s, or goat’s milk. Below are the three iconic Sicilian cheeses to try, often featured in famous street foods.
Ragusano cheese is made from Modicana cow’s milk. The cows graze exclusively on the grass of the province, resulting in the particular floral flavors of the cheese. Ragusano is popular throughout Sicily and you can enjoy dishes featuring it in and around the best cities in Sicily for food.
2. Pecorino Siciliano
Pecorino cheese is made from sheep’s milk around the Italian peninsula. The tradition of making pecorino cheese dates back to ancient Greece, when it was considered one of the best cheeses in the world. Today, Pecorino dominates many top dishes to try on your trip to Sicily.
Ricotta in Sicily can be made from cow’s, sheep’s, goat’s, or buffalo’s milk, with some combining several types of milk. Ricotta has a creamy, fluffy texture when fresh and is known for filling desserts like cannoli or topping sponge cake known as Sicilian cassata. When salted or baked, however, ricotta goes well with savory dishes like Sicilian Pasta alla Norma.
The origins of Sicilian street food date back to the ancient Greeks, however, the popularity blossomed under the reign of Arab settlers around the 10th century. The traditional street food of Sicilian cities encompasses full, quick, inexpensive meals at stalls or vendors on the street. Affordable Sicilian street food is excellent and culinary tours across the island to prominent vendors will give you a taste of what it is like to be a local.
The most common street food found around Sicily is the arancini, a deep-fried rice ball stuffed with different fillings. The dish derives from the Arab colonization of Sicily and continues to reflect the diverse cultural integrity of Sicilian cuisine on tours of southern Italy and Sicily.
The thick Italian pizza is a typical item found across Sicily. It is topped with tomatoes, onions, anchovies, and caciocavallo cheese. The dish has softer, taller characteristics than traditional pizza. Its spongy texture allows the sauce to soak into the soft bread for an even more delicious combination of flavors, rivaling one of the best dishes to try in Naples, traditional Neapolitan pizza.
Stigghiola consists of calf or lamb intestines grilled over charcoal, representing the island’s wealth of cultural culinary heritage displayed at different stalls around the island. The aroma of smoke and seasoned meat will entice your senses and attract you and locals to vendors.
Dreaming of a unique Italian pizza topped with tomatoes, onions, anchovies, and caciocavallo cheese, or interested in sampling the three iconic PDO-status Sicilian cheeses? You can explore the gastronomic Italian destination on Sicily tours and vacation packages or Italy food tours and vacation packages.
As you plan for your adventure, you can also learn more about Sicily and find ideas for your vacation in our Sicily travel guide and Italy food and wine travel guide.