Let’s find out what to eat in Agrigento and its surroundings . As a bit all over the island, the dishes are the result of intertwining and influence of numerous cultures and peoples that have colonized Sicily over the centuries.
The cuisine of Agrigento is both coastal and mountain cuisine, like its territory. In fact, it shares some dishes from the surroundings of Enna and Caltanissetta that are found in the Sicilian hinterland and fish-based dishes from the other coastal areas of the island. Below I have prepared a list of the typical products of Agrigento and its surroundings, which you can try during your trip .
1. Maccu di fava beans
A typical dish of peasant origin is the maccu di fave. It is a bean soup that is crushed during cooking until it becomes a delicious cream. This dish is also found among the typical dishes of Enna and between typical dishes of Caltanissetta .
2. Cavatelli baked in foil
Cavatelli baked in foil are reminiscent of the famous pasta with aubergines . Also in this case, in fact, the aubergine is the queen of the dish. Eggplants are a real obsession of Sicilians, you can find them almost everywhere. It was the Arabs who imported them from India and since that time they have conquered the hearts of the Sicilians. Returning to the cavatelli, they are prepared with tomato, basil, salted ricotta and caciocavallo and baked together with aluminum foil .
3. Soup of San Giuseppe
St. Joseph is considered the protector of the poor and the needy and is celebrated in many countries in Sicily every year on March 19. The first celebrations of the saint date back to the end of the 1400s and the tradition has continued ever since. The celebration also included the preparation of the soup of San Giuseppe, also called Macco di San Giuseppe, which was then distributed to the poor. The traditional soup is made with beans and legumes , but there are several variations, even with pasta.
4. Cuttlefish soup
It is a delicious soup cooked in the Agrigento area, especially in the coastal area. It is based on peas, potatoes, parsley and cuttlefish that are caught in these areas.
5. Taganu of Aragon
The origin of this ancient Easter dish is still uncertain, it is certainly an ancient recipe of peasant origin. The ingredients of which it is composed are in fact poor: pasta, eggs, cheese and pork . The Sicilian word “Tiganu” indicates the terracotta pan in which it was once prepared and Aragona indicates the country of origin of the dish. Once the ingredients were sealed in clay jars which were then broken at the end of cooking to extract the dish.
6. Sole alla saccense
It is a typical dish in particular, from the municipality of Sciacca, where all the cuisine is characterized by recipes based on fish, being a coastal municipality. Sole is the queen of the dish, flavored with Sicilian citrus fruits and baked in the oven.
7. The stigghiola
The stigghiola, are a delicious dish typical also of the areas of Palermo, I have also listed it in my article on what to eat in Palermo . They enter by right on the list of what to eat in Agrigento, even if they are not suitable for the faint of stomach, in fact they are a dish made with lamb or kid guts . It is found in some restaurants or on the street, sold by stigghiulari who cook it on the grill. The stigghiola comes rolled up on itself, skewered with a skewer and it is seasoned very simply, with salt, lemon and parsley.
Historical origins of the stigghiola
The origins of this dish are to be found in the Greeks . In fact it was they who imported them and spread them in Sicily, during their colonization. It was a dish much loved and consumed by the Greeks, especially by the poor. It is in fact a poor dish, designed for those who could not afford more prized meats. Just think that even today this dish is also present in Greece and is called Kokoretsi.
8. U pitaggiu
U pitagiu, in Italian pitaggio is a stew made with broad beans, peas and artichokes often used as a side dish for sausage. The name comes from the French potage, which means a dish of mixed vegetables. In this case, fresh vegetables that come from the Sicilian countryside.
9. Hot table in Agrigento
Rizzuola and ravazzata they are two delicious pieces of diner typical of Palermo cuisine, but they are also found in Agrigento and its surroundings. They are, respectively, the fried and baked version, of a brioche filled with meat sauce, tomato sauce and peas . The filling therefore recalls the famous arancino, but in this case the brioche dough is used.
10. Almond desserts and sweet couscous
Among the things to eat in Agrigento and its surroundings we cannot fail to mention the desserts. Among them we have the cciarduni , typical dessert from Agrigento stuffed with ricotta cream and covered with chopped almonds and rustic pie , also this one based on ricotta and almonds. In fact, it is often the almonds, which are found in abundance in the Agrigento area, to flavor the sweets of the area. I therefore advise you to try all the almond-based desserts .
You have surely heard of the cous cous , typical dish especially of the Trapani area and brought by the Arabs. Good, in Agrigento there is a sweet version, a recipe invented by the nuns Cistercians of the convent of Santo Spirito in Agrigento. In fact, still today they prepare it in large terracotta pots with pistachios, candied fruit and chocolate. You can also go inside the convent and buy some of these sweets.
It seems that the origin of these sweets is Tunisian , in fact, the women who worked in the convent in the 14th century and helped the nuns in the bigger jobs were precisely of this nationality. In fact, they prepared cous cous, a typical dish of their area and that was how the dessert was born.
The original recipe is still secret and is jealously guarded by the older nuns , who will then decide when to give the secret to the younger nuns. Today the sisters are only 6, most of them very old, but they are the ones who dedicate themselves to the creation of the dessert.
I hope I have been clear and exhaustive enough on what to eat in Agrigento and its surroundings, good appetite!
Typical Sicilian dishes
Here you find the typical Sicilian dishes that you can find all over the island.