Sicily: Special Foodie Highlight

Travel & Exploration

Museo delle Saline View, Sicily

The last post on Sicily Adventures in Food, I would be remiss if I did not mention two culinary specialties of the Trapani Region of Sicily. On my recent visit, I had the opportunity to taste and experience both Mediterranean Sea salt and a local winery.


Mediterranean Sea Salt

If you ever wondered how sea salt is produced, Museo delle Saline is a great place to learn.

Since the 14th century manual labor and windmills have been used in the process of sea salt production from the Mediterranean Sea between the cities of Marsala and Trapani. The process by which the salt is collected remains unchanged using various concentrations of salt pans, or salt evaporation pools, sun, and a warm summer breeze to extract salt. As you drive through this region it is hard not to notice the white fields of crystallized salt along the road and coast line. What was most interesting to me was that there is a formal methodology to salt production much like wine tasting. While mechanized sea salt production may use machines to extract salt from the sea, the process here from start to finish is completed with traditional tools and manual labor from direction by the lead “salt sommelier,” as I liked to call him. A job taught to him by his father, the “salt sommelier” watches the weather, tests the salt and ensures the best harvesting season. Salt production here is measured by hand shoveled salt in wheel barrows that are poured into piles and then covered with terra cotta tiles to protect the harvest until it is ready to be processed for use. Salt production is estimated to be about 1,000 tons of per year.

Salt Pans, Sicily

If you look closely, you can see the lead “salt sommelier,” in the distance!

Salt worker's tools, Sicily

Salt worker’s tools

Salt pans, Sicily

Can you spot the crystallized salt?


Sicilian wine

Donnafugata, Sicily

Paired wine tasting!

Travel to the city of Marsala and there are a dozen cantinas or wine tasting rooms to visit – if you make the trip, plan a tasting. Each winery with unique blends have locally grown and harvested grapes. The variety of grapes, soil, techniques, and flavor variations can be discussed at length; however, I am only briefly going to highlight two local wines for the sake of my food adventures. Marsala and Zabibbo.

Marsala wines are higher in alcohol content and are similar to that of port or sherry – perfect for a dessert wine or aperitif. Most commonly marsala wines are used in cooking but if you visit this region, you may find a glass to be the perfect accompaniment to your cheese antipasti or between the first and second course of your meal.

Zabibbo is a sweet wine made from grapes partially fermented in the sun, the name Zabibbo comes from the Arabic word raisin. Zibibbo is similar to the Moscato grape and is well known for the velvety, sweet wine Passito di Pantelleria. This wine is wonderful with rich, savory dishes, mature cheese and chocolate. I may just have a glass by itself to enjoy the sweet fruity taste.

Grape-growing regions, Sicily

Grape growing regions

Donnafugata, Sicily

Wine fermentation, storage and tasting room


Experiencing local specialties always makes a trip more fun… and delicious. I am looking forward to my next culinary excursion.

Find more in the hashtag #adventuresinfood

dani of kid food explorers

Hi there! I’m Dani.

Mama of three, pediatric dietitian, and founder of Kid Food Explorers, a resource hub and learning platform that empowers families on their journey to raising confident, adventurous eaters. We’re on a mission to make food fun, with interactive food play and STEAM activities that help kids learn about food in a playful, pressure-free way.

fun with food kids activity book

Explore new foods together!

Watch your kids grow into confident, adventurous eaters using our fun food activities and children’s books as your guides.

Keep Exploring

Our Kid-Famous Spiced Almond Peach Sauce

Our Kid-Famous Spiced Almond Peach Sauce

This Spiced Almond Peach Sauce is a favorite in our house! My kids always beg for it, and it's so easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a delicious and healthy sauce that your whole family will love. Trust me when I say this it's definitely...

Crispy & Easy Latkes Recipe for Chanukah

Crispy & Easy Latkes Recipe for Chanukah

Looking for a Chanukah recipe that your kids will love? Try this extra crispy and super easy latkes recipe! Made with just a few simple ingredients, they'll be a hit with the whole family. Plus, they're perfect for dipping in applesauce or sour cream. Yum!...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *