Saturday, April 4, 2015

Wine & Food of Sicily: Inzolia & Arancini

We're about a quarter of the way touring our way around Italy with our Italian Food, Wine & Travel bloggers group. Last month we featured the Trentino-Alto Adige and this month we're hopping on a jet down to the complete opposite end of the country to the island of Sicily. Today I wanted to share with you a unique grape of Sicily that can be found in many of the wines produced in this region including the famous Marsala wines of western Sicily. The grape is known as insolia, also known as inzolia or ansonica. It's a dry white wine that you will find either alone or blended with other grapes.

Cusumano winery in Sicily
Cusumano winery ~ Compliments of www.cusumano.it

2012 Cusumano Angimbe InzoliaUnfortunately I've been pretty sick this week catching the flu from my wonderful husband. I guess I can't say he never gave me anything ; ) The wine I wanted to share with you today thankfully I tasted prior to this week or my taste buds would've been pretty non-existent and I won't share with you wines that I don't enjoy. The wine today comes from the Cusumano winery, which began in 2001 and is operated by brothers Diego and Alberto. Their winery has 7 different vineyard sites where they grow their grapes to produce a variety of wines on about 1250 acres (500 hectacres). Their 2012 Cusumano Angimbe Sicilia IGT wine is made of 70% Inzolia and 30% Chardonnay. These particular Inzolia grapes are grown in the Piana degli Albanesi, which resides in the province of Palermo. For those of you that go by ratings, this wine was rated 90 points by James Suckling. Retail about $18.


Color: Golden

Nose: Golden apple, ginger, florally, lemon zest

Palate: Balanced, medium bodied, smooth



A Sicilian dish that I enjoy and have long wanted to prepare myself are arancini or arancine. Sicily enjoys some of their dishes fried and arancini are balls of risotto that can be prepared with a variety of different ingredients that you add into the balls. They are then breaded and fried. The name arancini actually stems from the word orange in italian, arancia, since they are typically in the shapes of oranges just not as large (although I will say I have seen some that big). Many Sicilian dishes prepare arancini with peas and meat sauce. Have fun with it and add whatever you like! I choose to use the recipe from the Food Network with chef Giada De Laurentis – Arancini di Riso with mushrooms, but I withdrew the peas as I'm not a huge fan myself. I prepared my risotto with portobello mushrooms and then topped my arancini with a bolognese sauce. You can find my previous risotto preparation blog as well as my more recent bolognese blog to help you if you'd like to do the same.

Risotto with mushrooms
Risotto with mushrooms
Making arancini
Prepping ingredients for Risotto: 2 eggs, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, day old risotto, 1/2 cup parmesan
Frying arancini

Frying arancini  
Fried arancini
Fried Arancini
arancini with bolognese sauce
Arancini with mushrooms topped with bolognese sauce
If you enjoy this article on Sicily there are lots more where that came from.  Join my fellow bloggers and what they have to share on their sites.

Curious Appetite - Sicilian Cannoli and wine pairings  
Cooking Chat - Pairing for Linguine with Cod and Asparagus  
Rockin Red Blog - Celebrating Sicily on #ItalianFWT  
Enofylz wine blog - A Taste of Sicily-Tuna and Seabass Spiedini #ItalianFWT  
FoodWineClick - From Etna Bianco to Marsala, A Sicilian Wine Tour  
Girls Gotta Drink - Etna Wine: volcanic wines that don't taste like ash 

We are live on twitter today and throughout the weekend at #ItalianFWT.  Join us and share your food, wine and travel experiences in Sicily.  We'd love to hear from you!  Next month on June 5th as we feature the Marche region.