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  • Writer's pictureThe Sicilian Wanderer

The Dance of the Swordfish: Discovering the Flavors of Sicily.

Swardfish in sicily

Dear travelers, today we take you on a journey to discover one of Sicily's most cherished delicacies: the swordfish. The island, nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, boasts a millennia-old history and a cuisine rich in flavors and traditions. Among the many gastronomic delights, the swordfish stands out for its unique taste and versatility in cooking.

The fishing of swordfish in Sicily has ancient roots. Since the time of the Phoenicians, this practice was carried out using sailboats called "feluche", equipped with a long walkway on the bow known as "sciara". From this platform, the fisherman would throw the harpoon to catch the swordfish. Today, this traditional technique is still practiced along the Tyrrhenian coast of the island, especially in the Messina area.

Swordfish lends itself to numerous culinary preparations that highlight its intense flavor and the texture of its meat. Among the typical Sicilian dishes based on swordfish, we find the swordfish roll, skewers, and swordfish "alla ghiotta". The latter is a true symbol of Sicilian cuisine, combining the taste of swordfish with Mediterranean flavors of garlic, capers, olives, and tomatoes.

During your trip to Sicily, you cannot miss the opportunity to savor these delicacies in one of the many local restaurants overlooking the sea. Among the cities renowned for their swordfish-based cuisine, we recommend visiting Taormina, Cefalù, and Milazzo. In these places, you can indulge in fresh and tasty dishes, prepared according to traditional recipes and served with a glass of Sicilian white wine, such as Grillo or Inzolia.

If you are passionate about fishing, you might also experience the thrill of participating in one of the many swordfish fishing excursions organized by local boats. This experience will allow you to get up close with ancient fishing techniques and appreciate even more the taste of freshly caught fish, cooked according to Sicilian tradition.

In conclusion, swordfish represents a must-try gastronomic experience for those visiting Sicily. Not only will you have the opportunity to savor a dish rich in history and tradition, but you will also immerse yourself in the culture and breathtaking landscapes of this enchanting island. As you explore the captivating Sicilian cities, delve into the local fish markets, like the Capo Market in Palermo or the Pescheria Market in Catania. Here, you can observe the skill of fishermen and traders selecting and preparing fresh swordfish for sale. It's a unique sensory experience, amidst the scents of the sea and the vibrant colors of the fish stalls. For visitors who love to cook, attending a Sicilian cooking class can be an unforgettable experience. You will learn to prepare traditional swordfish dishes, guided by expert local chefs who will share with you the secrets of authentic recipes. There's no better way to immerse yourself in Sicilian culinary culture and take home a piece of this magical land.

Lastly, if you find yourself in Sicily between May and September, we recommend attending one of the food and wine events dedicated to swordfish. These festivals, organized in various coastal locations, are a perfect opportunity to taste swordfish in all its variations, savoring the festive atmosphere and Sicilian hospitality.

Swordfish in Sicily is much more than just a dish: it's a cultural, historical, and culinary experience that will make you fall even more in love with this enchanting land. Whether you're foodies in search of authentic flavors, fishing enthusiasts, or curious travelers eager to discover local traditions, Sicilian swordfish will win you over and leave an indelible mark on your heart. So, dear travelers, pack your bags and dive into the charm of Sicily, where swordfish dances among the flavors of the Mediterranean, offering you an unforgettable experience. Safe travels and bon appétit!

swordfisfh siracusana art

Sicilian-Style Swordfish


  • 4 swordfish steaks (about 200g each)

  • 400g cherry tomatoes

  • 1 medium white onion

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 100g pitted black olives

  • 50g salted capers, rinsed

  • A bunch of fresh parsley

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 60 ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 glass of dry white wine


  • 1. Start by preparing the ingredients: wash and halve the cherry tomatoes; finely slice the onion; mince the garlic cloves; drain the black olives and rinse the capers under running water to remove excess salt.

  • 2. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and minced garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onion becomes soft and translucent.

  • 3. Increase the heat and place the swordfish steaks in the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until the fish turns golden. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • 4. Deglaze the swordfish steaks with the dry white wine and let the alcohol evaporate for a couple of minutes.

  • 5. Add the cherry tomatoes, black olives, and capers to the pan with the swordfish. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat. Let it cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally and being careful not to break the swordfish steaks.

  • 6. In the meantime, wash and finely chop the fresh parsley. Once the swordfish is cooked, turn off the heat and add the chopped parsley to the sauce, mixing gently.

  • 7. Let the Sicilian-style swordfish rest for a few minutes before serving, allowing the flavors to meld perfectly.

  • 8. Plate the swordfish steaks, garnish with the tomato, olive, and caper sauce, and serve with a side of green salad or baked potatoes.

Enjoy your meal! This typical Sicilian dish will let you appreciate the unique taste of swordfish and transport you directly to the island's coasts, where the sea and tradition come together in a blend of unforgettable flavors.

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