Almost halfway on the east coast of Sicily,
encircled by lemon and orange orchards, the city of Catania was founded by the Greeks in the eighth
century BC. They called it Katane (grater) because the characteristics of the rock
formation shaped by the lava’s eruptions of Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, which
sits to the north of the city.
Catania is the second largest city in Sicily with 375,000 inhabitants.
The industries, the port and the hardworking people
of this province have developed manufacturing and commerce to an extent that makes Catania the most
energetic and flourishing Sicilian city.
Traditions and taste are merged and enjoyed in Catania by its
inhabitants and the world’s gourmands.
In Catania, bread dough stuffed with fresh cheese called tuma and anchovies or cauliflowers with
cheese are baked to make the aromatic schiacciata, in a shape similar to an empanada.
Fried dough stuffed with ricotta, the crispeddi, is either a nutritious snack or a dessert if
the ricotta is sweetened. When stuffed with cheese and anchovies, they are called Siciliana in
Among the special pasta dishes imitated all over Sicily and beyond are spaghetti alla Norma,
made with tomato sauce, eggplants and ricotta salata ,and pasta con i masculini, made
with fresh anchovies fried with onions, wild fennel and peas.
Salsiccia e bastardu
affucatu, barbequed sausages, are served
with purple sautéed cauliflower, which grows exclusively at the lower slopes of
Etna. The pesce arrostito, roasted fish is seasoned and served
with a sauce made with fresh oregano, thyme, olive oil and lemon juice.
olive di Santa Agata, prepared for the festival of the saint patron of Catania, are small green
balls of liquor-flavored marzipan in the shape of olives. Crispelle di riso, sweet rice
croquettes covered with orange honey, are made throughout the province. Praiseworthy desserts include
torroni, gelati, a large variety of almonds cookies, cassata, cannoli,
cakes and pastries, which create an exceptional mosaic of tastes particular to this city.