8 days, 7 islands, 8 dishes
The Aeolian islands are a small volcanic archipelago of seven islands in the Tyrrhenian sea. They are located off the north-eastern coast of Sicily and named after the God of the winds, Aeolus.
The islands – thanks to their proximity to the mainland and a high level of trade with Sicily and the other islands of the Mediterranean – are a combination of historical and cultural influences that you can especially appreciate with “your legs under the table”; a place where we, food lovers, can really feast.
They are part of Sicily, one of the most all-embracing regions in Italy, distinct in history and culture, thanks to the myriad influences that formed the island over centuries. Sicily, as well as the Aeolians manifest their cultural heritage especially within the food and the cuisine.
Along the Aeolian coast, local produce and traditional dishes combine the legacy of the past with an ongoing respect for local produce and the seasons: the food is simply what it is grown from the land, the produce in the local markets ever changing, and the range of ingredients inspiring. Shopping there is a delight!
Here is a snapshot of the best and most interesting dishes the islands have to offer, a tour that takes us from the humble caper, growing on the rocky, sun-baked hillsides to the fabulous wealth of seafood luxuriating in the deep blue waters: ingredients central to the local cuisine since the times of ancient Greece and Rome.
Pasta with tuna fish. Sicilians have fished tuna for centuries, this tasty pasta has a beautiful creamy rich tomatoes sauce that brings out the flavour of the sun.
Sword fish roll-ups with lemon leaves. Just delicious!
Aeolian salad with capers, potatoes, fresh onions, tomatoes and black olives.
Squid,stuffed with caciocavallo cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs. So fresh. The squid is gutted, chopped, dusted in flour then stuffed and cooked in olive oil. Showcase the suprisingly delicate flavour of the sea.
Lemon and almond milk tart. Tart made with milk, crushed almonds and lemon.
Pane cunzatu, a lighly toasted bread base, topped with fresh, local, cooked and uncooked vegetables.
Parmigiana spaghetti a unique dish from Lipari, that embraces the staple food of traditional italian cusine and the parmigiana, food-symbol of Sicily: spaghetti and aubergines.
Mulberry granita a must, absolutely not to be missed!
These are just a few examples of the fantastic food the islands offer.
And that’s not the only reason for visiting this wonderful archipelago.
The glistening, cobalt water of the islands brings cool and relaxing vibes…you can dip a toe in the hot sea of the island of Vulcano, spot the prehistoric village of Punta Milazzese in Panarea, or leave your footprint on the sandy beach of Lipari. You can climb the active volcano of Stromboli at night, or discover the green beauty of Salina or enjoy the silence of the most remote islands, Alicudi and Filicudi.
Recipesonthego teamed up recently with the walking company Esplora to introduce a group from the UK to some of these Aeolian delights. We hope to repeat the collaboration and I hope some of you will feel inspired to come with us! I’ll keep you posted!