Sicilian Sauces & Condiments

(“Le Salse” – “I Cuonze”)


In Sicily we have a distinction between a sauce and a condiment.
Although it is not a strict rule, we intend for sauce to be a thick preparation used to enrich food and improve its taste. Usually it is time consuming to prepare and made of a cooked mixture of various ingredients. When the sauce is blended with another element, it creates a new combination with new flavors and characteristics. 
The word sauce, Italian “salsa”, derives from the Latin word “salsus”, salted, from “sal, salis the salt.





Condiment (in Latin “condimentum” from “condire” to season) is substance added to food to boost its flavor or to preserve it. Typical condiments are oil, salt, sugar, vinegar, herbs, spices, olives, capers and salted anchovies, to name a few that are often used in a combination. 
A condiment is usually a cold preparation quickly mixed and used immediately. 
In Sicilian cooking the most celebrated sauce is the tomato sauce which is a basic sauce used in the preparation of many dishes.


  Tomato Sauce Lettuce

Recipes for the following sauces can be found this website:








The condiments are used primarily for salads, grilled vegetables, fish and meats. Some condiments made with sugar or honey and vinegar or lemon juice are sweet and sour and used as preservatives for vegetables, fish or meats.

Some of the condiments that we will illustrate are:





Some other specialties like the sweet-sour sauces will be offered as a variation of some of the above sauces. A variety of food products will be discussed like the breadcrumbs for stuffing or condiment, batters used in frying, basic chopped vegetable trio (onion, carrots and celery), used often in today's cooking and other sauces used in today's Sicilian cooking.