The cuisine of Sicily shows traces of all the cultures which established themselves on the island over the last two millennia.
As such, the cuisine in Palermo, capital of Sicily and headquarter of the emir during the Arab domination of Sicily (circa 10th and 11th centuries, exhibits the classic signs of Arab influence in its dishes (for example, the use of mint, raisins, fried preparations and pine nuts).
In Catania , located on the east coast, initially settled by Greek colonists, fish, olives, broad beans and fresh vegetables are preferred instead. Much of the island's cuisine encourages the use of fresh vegetables (such as eggplant, capsicums and tomatoes) and fish. In Trapani (in the extreme western corner of the island), the North African influence comes to the fore with dishes featuring couscous.
The list of well known Sicilian dishes includes arancini (a form of deep fried rice croquettes), pasta alla norma (a specialty of Catania ), caponata, pani ca meusa ( Palermo ) and couscous al pesce ( Trapani ). Sweets are another specialty; examples include: frutta martorana, pignolata, buccellato, cannolo siciliano, granita, and cassata siciliana).