A tour round the Terre Sicane means tasting a wide variety of typical and natural products all over the year.
Besides our excellent wines, there are plenty of specialties, mainly vegetables and fruit, which can be perfectly grown here.
Our extra-virgin olive oil is always on our table as the essential ingredient to most recipes. In the Terre Sicane it is produced on a surface of about 850 hectares, where they primarily grow the native varieties Biancolilla, Cerasuola and Nocellara del Belìce. Olive is fundamental in the agriculture of the area, where you can admire century-old trees as veritable natural monuments which typify the landscape.
Artichoke cultivation covers a surface area of about 600 hectares and is almost all within the municipalities of Menfi, one of the most suitable areas in Italy for growing artichokes. The speciality of the area is a rather small, purple, thorny artichoke that grows from November to April. Fragrant and tasty, it is wonderful raw but can also be preserved.
In Santa Margherita they chiefly grow the prickly pear plant. Native of America, it has so perfectly acclimatized here that has become a fundamental ingredient of local cuisine.
The Santa Margherita prickly pears grows in three different varieties: the yellow Sulfarina, the red Sanguigna, and the white Muscaredda. The fruits ripe in August, but you can harvest some (‘scozzolati’: roughly torn off) to make the plant blossom again in Autumn and yield a fruit called ‘Bastardone’, better appreciated for having fewer pips. You can eat the prickly pear fresh or in milk puddings and custards, ice cream, and juices.
The woodland strawberry is a wild perennial herbaceous plant. In Sicily you can find it growing wild in glades on Madonie Mountains, Nebrodi Mountains and Mount Etna. In the Terre Sicane, though, there are the perfect conditions for growing it in fields. In Sciacca, they have produced woodland strawberry since the 1920’s. Today its cultivation covers an area of 100 hectares producing about 4.000 quintals per year.
Our cheesemakers produce different kinds of cheeses like ricotta, scamorza or pecorino, still following old traditions.
Vastedda is the only spun cheese made from full-cream sheep’s milk with natural acidity. It is produced exclusively from the milk of ‘Belice Valley sheep’. They make it like a bulging disc by pressing a portion of slightly salted spun cheese in a soup plate. It must be eaten fresh within a few days from the production to preserve its fresh and slightly sour taste.