There is a deep connection between food and the history and traditions of our territories, an unmistakable range of tastes, flavors and scents, and an incredible variety of different dishes and recipes that are unmatched. An evocative itinerary between art and culture, archaeological parks and delightful historic centers, nature and unspoiled landscapes, in which wine and typical products are the narrative voice of this territory rich in history, myths and traditions.
Modica IGP chocolate, carob and thyme honey, “Ragusano DOP,” provola iblea cheese, Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG, Ispica baby carrot (IGP), Monti Iblei DOP olive oil, Pachino IGP tomato, Scicli sweet bean, Modica fava cottoia, Ispica sesame are just a few of the many specialties that will enrich with taste an almost unique offer, capable of linking food, culture and environment in an inseparable mix.
All that remains is to be transported into a multisensory experience. It starts with pasta, the kind prepared at home for Sunday lunches in deference to traditions, such as the ‘ngallini, ravioli stuffed with meat and ricotta ravioli in two variations: the first with ricotta and sugar filling and the second with ricotta and marjoram, both topped with a pork sauce, the principissedda with St. Joseph’s sauce in Santa Croce Camerina, a pasta seasoned with tomato sauce, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves, but also the cavati, large ridged gnocchi always served with a meat sauce.
Among the seconds, pork, in the form of stuffed rib, sausage or jelly, the liatina, but also the filled hen, iaddina china, with seasoned rice, laced and boiled, tripe alla ragusana, prepared in layers, the turcinuna (lamb entrails rolls marinated with parsley, pepper, salt, onion, various spices) and the rabbit Pattuisa style, cooked with tomato sauce, chopped vegetables, onion, garlic, peppers, eggplant, carrots, celery, and artichoke hearts. And more fish fritters, octopus and potatoes in the marinas.
Or even the specialty baked goods the bread, buns and the chase, typical of the Christmas holidays, a flatbread topped with vegetables, black olives, eggplant, ricotta and sausage, tomato and onion; or the‘mpanata, an Easter savory pie stuffed with lamb meat, in which the meat is cooked directly inside the dough and the sfogghiu, a millefeuille stuffed with ricotta cheese and sausage.
Prominent among the cheeses is “Ragusano D.O.P.,” a cow’s milk caciocavallo cheese of ancient tradition. It appears, in fact, that its production began around 1400. And again excellent ricottas, tasty fresh and seasoned“provole iblee,” cow’s milk tomini and pecorino cheese in different maturities, and ending on a high note with mozzarella and buffalo milk ricotta.
Among the desserts, in the front row cookies, the mucatoli stuffed with dried fruits of various kinds, or the affucaparrines, the “priest strangles,” hard cookies first boiled and then re-baked, or the more peculiar breads of Modica made with short pastry filled with cocoa, minced veal, sugar, cinnamon and almonds.
But this is an area of ricotta, so thestuffed cannoli and cassatas are not to be missed. And in summer the ever-present ranita ‘i mennula, the almond granita with the
briosche con il tuppo.
Notforgetting fruit cakes such as tangerine and the renowned Modica IGP chocolate,
, in local dialect. Unlike the “common” varieties of chocolate, Modican chocolate is cold-processed, that is, it does not undergo conching. Caracca, or the cocoa bean mixture, is heated up to 40°C (104°F). The temperature, which is very low, causes a grainy texture to be created when the sugar is added, as the sugar does not melt into the cocoa butter, but remains stable.
Moving toward the coasts is the cuisine of the seaside villages, where time seems to stand still, where you can taste the tasty risottos with fish or the traditional spaghetti in Moorish sauce, Sciclitani, a first course that has its roots as far back as the 11th century AD, or seafood, and fresh fish.
But good food should be accompanied by good wine. An inescapable combination that with the passage of time has turned into a unique art.
Here the prince of wines is Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Sicily’s only DOCG, with a full, fruity, cherry-colored flavor that along with Frappato is the one that most represents the area.
Mr. and Mrs. Puglisi have been married for more than 40 years; they met in Modica on the Feast of Santa Maria delle Grazie and have not been separated since. With devotion and daily toil they run a farm located in the Modican area and retail the products of their labor, delighting palates throughout the province.
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