Taormina Food & Wine
In Taormina, you will find a great deal of restaurants (more than 80) able to prepare many simple, but exquisite dishes, well known all over the world. Taormina cuisine is Sicilian cuisine, where even the simplest dish is a delicious. Sicilian cuisine is deeply cosmopolitan, drawing from the culinary culture of all its invaders. Its cuisine has all the distinctive features of Arabian, French, Norman, Spanish, and Bourbon cuisine.
The Arabs introduced aubergines (eggplant) and rice, as well as a sweet and spicy cuisine. The French and Spanish refined the raw ingredients, and the end result is a sumptuous Mediterranean stew in which pasta, tomatoes, vegetables, seafood, lemons, extra virgin olive oil, and various herbs predominate.
Hors d'Oeuvres (antipasti) are often sumptuously displayed in Taormina's restaurants to tempt you the minute you walk in. Cold dishes such as insalata di mare (seafood salad tossed in olive oil, lemon and herbs), vegetables, salami, ham, olives, stuffed artichoke hearts, anchovies, aubergines, peperonata (peppers in oil), or pomodori ripeni (stuffed tomatoes). Aubergines are a staple, whether grilled, fried, stuffed (involtini di melanzane), or baked in a cheese and tomato sauce (melanzane alla parmigiana). Or try pesce spada affumicato (smoked swordfish), or alici marinate (marinated anchovies). A favorite starter is also caponata, a dish of grilled peppers, aubergines, tomatoes, courgettes, and olives.
the first courses
In Taormina, you may want to try these soups or pasta dishes: pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil, pennette alla norma (an eggplant sauce), pasta con le sarde (with a sauce of sardines, tomatoes, pine nuts, and raisins), or linguine al limone, surprisingly simple and delicious. Or try risotto alla marinara (steamed rice with fresh seafood), spaghetti al nero di seppia (with the black squid sauce), spaghetti ai frutti di mare (seafood) or spaghetti ai ricci di mare (with sea urchin?s eggs).
the second course
Don't miss out on involtini di pesce spada (grilled swordfish rolls) and the tuna with onion stew. Or grigliata mista, a mixed seafood grill. Two other special treats in Taormina are triglie (red mullets) and aragosta (the clawless Mediterranean lobster). Sample the sarde a beccafico (filetted sardines stuffed with cheese, garlic, parsley, and capers) or neonata a pastelle (tiny fried fish).
Try the tasty local salsiccia (sausages in red wine with fennel seeds), coniglio alla cacciatora (rabbit steamed in herbs), or capretto al forno (baked kid).
For dessert, try cassata or torta cassata, an ice cream or tart with almonds and candied fruits, cannoli alla ricotta (sponge cake filled with a delicious cream made of sheep milk and candied fruits), sfogliatelle (sweet ricotta turnovers), paste di mandorla (almond cakes), or marzapane. And gelato made in Taormina is simply delicious.
Castelmola is a small medieval mountain village, which is situated on a cliff above Taormina. The village is well-known for its sweet almond wine Vino di Mandorla, which you should drink chilled.