Catania owns a hundred year old tradition related to food, due to its contamination and rulers: anyone who arrived here, left a bit of its history and of its dishes.
Thanks to the Aragonese, Chinese and Indians we have fried eggplants. The first brought into Sicily fried preparation. Chinese, instead, were in business with the eastern side of the island and brought here the products which marketed with India, including the eggplant. Norma, which takes its name from the famous opera by the composer Vincenzo Bellini, is for the citizens the quintessence of pasta: tomato, basil and eggplant. And the salted ricotta, which gives it an irresistible flavor.
The gelatin of pork (Zuzzu in dialect) has been added to the list of traditional Italian food products (PAT), together with caponata, sarde a beccaficu, almond granita (minnulata in dialect), mela gelato cola, and many others fresh and finished products. Further, Catania boasts “masculini da magghia” (anchovies), which are included in the list of Slow Food products thanks to the fishing through the mesh.
The masculini are sold in the market of Catania in Piazza Pardo ( ‘a Piscaria) or are put under salt by fishermen’s wives. It is a conserve made with chopped anchovies and with them heads that remain entangled in the mesh of menaide. Since they were impossible to sell, these “scraps” were consumed on the boat. Back to shore, housewives put what remained, together with olive oil, in glass jars or in small terracotta jars (cugnitti) and if necessary they took a part of it for cooking sauces.