Sicilian Cookbooks

In preparation for our trip to Sicily I bought three Sicilian cookbooks.

Seafood alla Siciliana by Toni Lydercker, a heavy hardback with beautiful photos and US friendly recipes and ingredients.  The book includes stories and cultural tidbits about the region and the author’s personal experiences.

Sicilian Food by Mary Taylor Simeti, an American living in Sicily and married to a Sicilian offers her readers traditional recipes and methods as well as an in depth historical account of Sicilian food traditions.

Sicily and Culinary Crossroads, translated from the Italian and written by Giuseppe Corria, a local gastronome. A small book with interesting traditional recipes that requires greater knowledge (or a sense of adventure) to follow as quantities and methods are not always explicitly stated.

In Sicily I bought three additional cookbooks, all in Italian.

I Sopori della Cucina Siciliana, edited by Edizioni Enjoy, is a typical tourist type cookbook with great photos and simple, intriguing recipes. We tried a number or recipes from this book, inspired by the pictures, with great success.

Cuore di Sicilia, Ricordi e ricette di Regaleali by Anna Tasca Lanza, who runs a cooking school south of Palermo in the “heart” of the Sicilian countryside. It’s an intriguing book with stories and photos of the region, but what I did not realize when I bought the book was how few fish dishes were included. Inland, the predominant proteins are meats, beef, lamb, chicken etc. We, however, were on the coast and wanted to cook fish. Not the best choice for our circumstances.

La Cucina Siciliana by Alba Allotta. This was my favorite of the three. With 1000 recipes it is more of encyclopedia of Sicilian recipes. Just about anything you want to make Sicilian you can find in this book. I also like the hand drawn illustrations, especially of the fish. A great help when going to the local fish markets.