Experiencing Trapanese cuisine is like taking step into the past and reliving the history of the populations which made Trapani and the surrounding area what it is today.
Since antiquity Trapani has always been a place of passage and conquest—first by the Phoenicians, Romans, and Arabs; and then the Aragonese and Angevins. This turbulent past, that saw the alternation of sovereigns and dominations, has left its indelible mark on the architecture, art, language, and cuisine of this dynamic small town on the coast of western Sicily.
Trapanese cuisine, which reflects this melting-pot of populations and cultures, deserves its own more thorough examination.
The dish which reigns supreme in Trapanese cuisine is in fact one of Arabic origin—the widely-known couscous. In the traditional Trapanese version of couscous, durum wheat flour is rolled into shape and then flavoured with fish broth, but it can also be made with meat and vegetables. Each of the recipes in Trapanese cuisine has an anecdote or story to tell. They are testimony of the glorious past which involved this corner of Sicily.
The dishes of Trapanese cuisine are enriched by the use of Slow Food Ark of Taste registered foods like Trapani marine salt, Nubia’s red garlic, and Castelvetrano’s “black” bread, and that’s without even mentioning the infinite delicacies of the local area such as the Paceco yellow melons and the traditional hand-made busiata pasta. And to finish off, there are the convent almond sweets which are typical of the area.
Flavours, scents, aromas, all of them recall an authentic and genuine cuisine.
This Mediterranean cuisine which uses extra-virgin olive oil as its main condiment is much envied outside of Italy.
We mustn’t then forget the fresh local fish for which the entire area has become well-known. The Strait of Sicily is, in fact, a sea with one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the whole of the Mediterranean. And then, of course, there is the street-food—roadside takeaway food—a true delight for all foreign visitors to Sicily. Street-food seduces and captivates with its unique and authentic flavour.