Typical dishes of Messina, the most ancient ones of Sicilian cuisine

4 May 2018

The cuisine of Messina, as well as the one of Sicily, is linked to the historical and cultural events that have influenced it over the centuries. In fact, its culinary culture shows traces of Greek, Arabic and Norman cuisine, making it unique in its kind. One of the millennial traditions of Messina concerns the fishing of swordfish and stockfish, whose meat is used to compose appetizers, first and second very tasty dishes; all dishes are flavored with typical local products such as extra virgin olive oil, typical vegetables such as beans and capers and citrus fruits, used especially for the preparation of the famous granita. We have made a gastronomic journey with the most representative dishes of the Messina cuisine, to try absolutely during a holiday in Taormina and surroundings.


Arancine and pidoni: they are part of the Sicilian “street food”; the first ones are famous all over Italy but here they present the characteristic pointed shape, while the latter are thin panzerotti pasta filled with cherry tomatoes, escarole, tuma and anchovies.


Pasta with breadcrumbs: simple and quick dish, consisting of spaghetti seasoned with crispy breadcrumbs toasted in extra virgin olive oil flavored with chilli pepper, garlic, parsley and anchovies.

Pasta ‘ncaciata: enriched variant of classic baked pasta, includes the addition of minced meat, salami, hard-boiled eggs, eggplant, parsley and caciocavallo cheese.


Ghiotta swordfish: the fish par excellence of the Messina coast is commonly cooked with this recipe; fillets of swordfish cut high and full-bodied, left to cook in the “ghiotta”, which means a typical sauce of these areas prepared with onion, celery, tomato, capers and olives.

Falsomagro: the name means “false low-fat meat”; it’s called like this because apparently it looks like a simple roast beef, but inside it reveals a filling that is not absolutely poor; minced meat, pecorino cheese, breadcrumbs, mortadella, lard, caciocavallo cheese and hard-boiled eggs form the filling of the meat roll, which is cooked in a tomato sauce enriched with typical local vegetables such as capers and olives.


Caponata: recipe that varies from the different Sicilian provinces; the peculiarity of this one is that the tomato sauce is replaced with peeled tomatoes, in such a way as to highlight all the vegetables that are fried together that are the aubergines, red and yellow peppers, onion, celery, capers, white and green olives, all seasoned with oil, salt and vinegar.


Messinese Pignolata: born in the era of the Roman Empire and revisited during the Spanish domination, today the pignolata is made up of “pine cones”, which means soft balls of dough covered with a black chocolate glaze and a white lemon glaze.

Martorana fruit: also known as marzipan, they are fruits reproduced with almond paste, which is carefully and meticulously hand painted to make it as realistic as possible.

You just have to taste the dishes of this typical cuisine, ready not only to delight your palates, but also to involve all your senses divinely.