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Eggplant caponata: history of a traditional dish

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All lovers of good food, at least once in a lifetime, they should taste the eggplant caponata. It is a typical dish of the gastronomic tradition of the Sicily: the main ingredient is fried and accompanied by tomatoes, zucchini, onions, olives, capers and many other delicious foods.

The only one is enough recipe of this dish to make your mouth water, but the caponata is not only an exquisite food: it is steeped in history, and is firmly linked to folklore of the picturesque Sicilian cities. Let's see together what is the meaning of the term, and what are the variations of this appetizing food!

A reflection on etymology

Today again, scholars are uncertain about the precise origin of the word "caponata”. Some derive it from the Greek I pick, “to cut”: and in fact you will notice that all the vegetables are cut into small pieces. According to others, the starting word is Latin caupona, “Tavern”, the place where the ancient sailors ate simple and genuine meals. A breadcrumbs, with oil, onion and anchovies, it was more than enough to recharge the energies before braving the currents of the sea.

However, many favor a third explanation. The capone it is a fish from the Mediterranean Sea that was often served in sweet and sour sauce: it, However, it was quite expensive, and the less affluent classes soon replaced it with the eggplant. Here came a dish frugal but very good, excellent both starter be like side dish, characteristic of one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

The versatility of the caponata

From what we have said so far you will have understood that there is nounivocal interpretation of the term "caponata", just as there is not a single version of this traditional food. The constant is obviously represented by eggplant, but the possible ingredients are so many!

To Catania, for example, the caponata are added potatoes, garlic and basil. To Agrigento the strong flavor of aubergines, pepperoni, capers and black olives is mitigated with raisins, honey and pine nuts. Let's not forget the Palermitan variant, with tomato sauce, is that Trapani with toasted almonds and a pinch of sugar.

A tour through Sicily is ideal for trying all types of caponata: get ready for a real one culinary ecstasy, an experience that involves all the senses - not just the taste, but also thesmell for perfumes and view for the colors of the plate!

A basic recipe of Sicilian caponata

To prepare an excellent caponata, beyond the different versions, you have to get it eggplant, green and black olives, capers, cherry tomatoes or tomato sauce, onions, celery and possibly courgettes. The vegetables are cooked in a pan with extra virgin olive oil; tomato paste can be made even more aromatic with a little vinegar.

By mixing everything you will get a appetizing and nutritious food, to accompany with a slice of bread and a glass of wine. The caponata can be eaten at the moment, but it is even better if left to cool for half an hour. Close your eyes and let yourself be intoxicated by flavors of Sicily!

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