After three years of dating a Sicilian man, I have had my share of food. While the best restaurant is still his grandmother’s kitchen, for a bit of a change we love going to the various food festivals around the island. They are called sagre in Italian and every town has their own. They are specific to the traditional plates and products of the regions and usually go on sometime from April to October. It is a lot of fun, you get to meet the local producers, learn about the folklore and culture behind the cuisine, and of course taste some delicious Sicilian products! So if you are planning your next holidays in Sicily, you could have a look on websites such as wishsicily.com and check out some holiday homes which will be much more comfortable than staying in hotel and make sure to get out and taste the local cuisine. You can find some Here are some of the best sagre I have been to:
Cannoli & Friends
This fun little festival is a desert-lovers paradise. It takes place in the first week of May at Piana degli Albanesi. It celebrate the island’s most famous deserts: cannoli and cassata. You can’t go to Sicily without trying these amazing delicacies made with a crusty fried shell and stuffed with fresh sheep milk ricotta. Last year over 50,000 were eaten in just 3 days!
Festa del Cappero in Fiore
This festival is all about capers. It takes place the last weekend of May on the island of Salina. Salina is one of seven Aeolian Islands. It is famous for its pristine and uncontaminated natural landscapes, fabulous wines and scrumptious capers! There are all sorts of cultural events that are sponsored as part of the Slow Food festival. It is a great opportunity to see a stunning island, learn about capers, and taste some of Sicily’s numerous caper-infused plates.
La Sagra del Tortone
The Tortone is a traditional Sicilian cake made with flour, olive oil, yeast and sugar. It takes place in the Madonie Mountains in the little village of Sperlinga. The festival is as much a tribute to the cake as to the Sicilian Vespers that took place in the town’s castle in 1282. In fact, there is a mediaeval procession in which the cakes are paraded up to the castle and then divided and eaten among the participants, townspeople and guests. Usually it takes place on the 16th of August, but check online before you make definite plans.
ice-cream lovers rejoice! Sicily is famous for it’s Sherbeth, or granita. This festival takes place during the first week of September in Cefalu, which is about an hour’s drive from palermo. It celebrates all the best in artisanal ice cream and granita. The town comes alive with concerts, cultural events, and fun for the whole family.
Sagra della Salsiccia
All hail the mighty Sicilian sausage! This sagra takes place near Agrigento in the town of Aragona. They throw the festival in honor of the local patron Saint, San Vincenzo, on the second Sunday of September. The air is filled with smells of BBQ, laughter, and a good ol’ Sicilian party!