Today we will enter the world of one of the most beautiful Italian islands, a touristic destination but where it’s still possible to breathe the scent of tradition.
Ladies and Gentlemen… Favignana!
Favignana is the main island of the Egadi archipelago which is situated in the extreme west of the most known island, Sicily!
Lined by beaches and caves, it is a perfect destination for those who love seaside destinations. Can you image chilling on a beach, savoring an authentic Orange Juice, admiring the horizon without no other thoughts?… Well, Favignana is this and even more!
Favignana is a very very famous island well known for its tuna production. In 1874, with the restructuring of the first “Tonnara” (place where Tuna fish is threated and then sold), the Florio family invented a new method for the tuna fish preservation: the tuna was cut into pieces, cooked in 24 boilers (still visible today) and then left to dry; at the same time in another large room the processing of the milk was carried out, through the use of machines and welders. The plant has been alive until 1991 when it was acquired by the Sicilian Region.
Today, inside the “Tonnara”, we find a space for a museum, with multimedia sales and video testimonies related to the “Mattanza” (the Mattanza is a specific way for fishing tuna fish) and “Tonnara”.
But let’s now speak about the typical food of the island (the moment we were all waiting for).
Even if the economy linked to fishing and tuna processing has become marginal today, tuna-based dishes such as tuna balls, spaghetti with bottarga (eggs of the female of the tuna, salted and dried), the sweet and sour “Tunnina” and the “Lattume” fried or preserved in salt, remain the main one.
The cuisine of the island continues to be faithful to the traditions as you can see going to the “Cave Bianche Hotel” where the chef makes oil, tomatoes, olives and fish of the day, his strong point. Among the dishes, you can find: “Bussata al Pesto Trapanese” (a kind of Pasta cooked with a stringer Pecorino Cheese Pesto), sweet and sour red onions and roasted breadcrumbs.
My favorite? Seared red tuna steak. The fishermen come out at night with their boats and return alone in the late morning with their booty. Fresh Tuna that is cooked perfectly following the Sicilian tradition. In short, an irresistible dish!
Other dishes, among the best known and belonging to the Favignana tradition are: “Couscous”, “Frascatole”, “Spaghetti with sea urchins”, “Patelle and lobster”; “the sarde a becca fico” and the “Pasta con Sardine”; the “nunnata” (baby fritters) and “cunzatu” bread (pieces of bread seasoned with local and genuine products).
In short, today Favignana, like Sicily in general, remains linked to its culture and its traditions. So, if you do not know what to do this summer, you’re tired of the grayness of your desk, or you just want to experiment with something new, I’m sure that Favignana, with its beautiful beaches, crystal clear sea, but above all, the unique food and varied, represent the place for you!