Do you know what Sicilians usually eat for breakfast? When I decided to create a food blog I loved the idea of posting not only mere recipes, but also stories, origins and any other information that can be interesting about our way of eating and our habits. So that is what this article is about: our breakfast!
As Sicily is a part of Italy (can't stand those who say the opposite only because it's an island!), Sicilian breakfast at home is like the Italian one: strong black coffee, with or without milk, with few biscuits or some sliced bread with butter and jam, possibly homemade. But if you do have breakfast out things change. It's still true we can't live without the black espresso from the bar or the lovely cappuccino, we also love fresh orange juice (squeesed in that moment!) and we usually have some delicacies with those things.
The most traditional ones in Palermo and its province are: treccine (twist shaped), millefoglie, ciambelle and brioche; (up above the picture of a ciambella and a treccina).
(You'll also find the international croissants and similar stuff such as Danish pastries with cream and apple, ecc... like in the rest of the world I suppose.)
The dough of this four things are similar one another, the first two treccine and millefoglie (here on the left a millefoglie) are baked and have sugar on top, they only have different shapes, plus the millefoglie has got raisins as well. Ciambelle (pic on top) are fried and very similar to donuts, at least in their shape, but are bigger, softer and with caster sugar. Needless to say they are the best and all the kids love them!
I remember when I was a child and I had to go to the doctor for blood exams with my empty stomach, after that horrible experience (as a kid) only a big soft rounded ciambella could make me smile again!!! :-)))
Finally there are the briosce or brioche, the word comes from the French. Careful when you use this word in other parts of Italy because in the north (like in Milan) they call briosce a normal croissant, while we don't because as I've just explained for us are to different things!
Our brioches are plain baked buns (oval or rounded like here on the right) and we eat them in many different ways: you can have an empty brioche with your cappucino in the morning, then a briosce with ham and tomato for lunch, and even a brioche with ice cream for dinner or during the afternoon! This is how Sicilians love to eat their ice cream in Summer!!! They are suitable for every need :)))
Talking about the hot season I have to add that there are many Sicilians who prefer to have a lemon granita (I think the correct translation should be shovel or ice shaved) with the brioche instead of the hot cappuccino in the Summer mornings, but this is up to everyone's taste and habit. I like my cappuccino even in the middle of July!
So now you can understand a little bit more about our first meal, and when you come to Sicily you will definetely know what to ask for breakfast!