It’s supposed to be well hard finding average food in Sicily. Motherfuckers be writing books about the righteous quality of Sicilian cuisine and shit.
I’m not going to paper over the fact that Giorgio Locatelli and I have had disagreements over the years, during those days when my assertions that average food could be found just about anywhere were based on nothing but gut feeling. Now I know the facts. And the facts back me up.
I’d go as far as to say that the majority of the cuisine I went in for on the isle of Sicily was average.
And to be clear, I did not go out of my way to seek averageness – I sought to have my beliefs shattered; to sit down some enchanted evening over candles and gnocchi and say “Giorgio, I was wrong.” Frankly, Ryanair took away enough of my holiday pleasure without deliberately seeking out further stabs in the gut.
The following is an abridged list of average foods I consumed over a four-day period:
- A slice of pizza with the texture of a bready mattress and only some stringy onions providing discernable flavour
- A platter of deep fried seafood, wherein the baby squid tasted of a mushroom/ spunk amalgam and the batter was generally grizzly
- A bread that was too hard
- A bread that was too soft
- A pasta that was both too rich and lacking any real complexity of flavour
- A cheese and tomato sandwich which was OK but nothing special
- Some overly brittle tomato-flavoured ridged crisps*
On the plus side, I had a nice slice of swordfish, several quality Aperol spritzers, some decent packets of crisps, a weird but somehow genius San Pellegrino drink which can only be described as like orangey Dr Pepper, an outrageously good cherry-based dollop of ice cream and a few solid green salads.
But the above were ultimately not enough to prevent me handing out the simultaneously gently-damning and overly-generous final score rating which follows. There might be less average foods to be found in Siciliy, but I didn’t find many of them. Let’s take this outside, Mafia.
SICILIAN CUISINE: 5.5/10
*OK, they were eaten the night before leaving and were bought from a London minimarket.