The city of Agrigento boasts a rich gastronomic culture. In fact, many of the ‘typical’ Sicilian dishes originated in Agrigento.
While Sicilian cuisine is unique, there are territorial nuances or specific dishes found exclusively in certain parts of the island. So let’s begin with Agrigento.
Agrigento’s delicacies can be enjoyed year-round, although some of its best-known dishes are seasonal. Dishes of the ancient popular festivals and repurposed historic family recipes can be found in traditional trattorias; always authentic and delicious.
Thanks to its mild climate, the island is rich in spices and aromatic plants; fresh oregano, mint, rosemary are essential condiments for seasoning. The fertile soil produces an abundance of citrus fruits as well as almonds, prickly pear, pistachio, and olives.
The cuisine of Agrigento is complex. It combines both the purely marine territories, such as Pelagie Islands and mountain territories, such as the Sicani Mountains. This unique geology has resulted in a gastronomy mainly based on fish in coastal and island locations, with meat and vegetables inland and at mountain locations.
Famous dishes in Agrigento
Some world-renowned street foods found in Agrigento include the Sicilian cassata, iris, Sicilian cannoli, granita and arancini.
Agrigento is famous for the Valley of the Temples: a world heritage archeology site with Greek, Roman and Arab roots. This melting pot of ancient cultures have shaped the area and left traces in its traditional cuisine.
The City of Temples is particularly rich in gastronomic delicacies with ancient influences. During a visit to the temples, it is worth trying some of the typical dishes of Agrigento.
- Taganu of Aragon – traditionally served on Easter Saturday. It is prepared inside a terracotta pan and made up of rigatoni or half sleeves with meat sauce, mixed with beaten eggs, parmesan, and butter.
- Cavatelli baked in foil – also known as cavatelli all’agrigentina is a tasty and easy first course. The key ingredient is aubergine, which is cut into cubes and fried. Then tomatoes, basil and salted ricotta are added to complete the dressing.
- Maccu di fava beans – another tasty dish prepared by cooking the dried broad beans with a clove of garlic. It can be eaten simply like this, like a cream, perhaps spread on croutons with the addition of a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. It can also be used as a condiment for pasta.
- Cuddiruni of Siculiana – handmade focaccia most commonly stuffed with potatoes, tomato, and onion.
- Sardine meatballs – sardines mixed with breadcrumbs, eggs, raisins and pine nuts. Some variations also include the addition of tomatoes or onions and sweet and sour sauce.
- Soup of San Giuseppe – also called macco di San Giuseppe, this dish was was traditionally offered to the poor on March 19th and is a great vegan option made up of legumes and seasonal vegetables.
Famous wine and liquor in Agrigento
As far as wine is concerned, Nero d’Avola is the prince of the Sicilian wine renaissance, an indigenous grape of great value. For a better result, it prefers soils with little clay. Its vines are also sensitive to excessive drought and exposure to the sun. Nero d’Avola grapes grow in espalier, with an average density of 4,500 plants per hectare.
As for liqueurs, one of the main examples of the entire province is the chocolate liqueur. In particular, the province of Agrigento has revived an ancient chocolate recipe, coming from the Aztec peoples, and made it famous all over the world, thanks to a particular processing step: cinnamon flavoring.
If you are inspired by the wonderful food of Agrigento, why not consider our Flavors of Sicily customizable tour. Or feel free to add it to any of our tours which feature Agrigento. To get planning, contact us today.