When you are on such a big island like Sicily, you expect to have lots of great fish dishes. But when you drive around in the west of the island and see several tuna fish canneries that have gone out of business since the late 80s, you know that the Mediterranean has lost its majority of fish. Many kinds of fish now served here in Restaurants are from the North Atlantic. But Swordfish, Sardines, Scampi and Squid and Octopus are still caught here.
Sardines are often used in dishes created by the fisherman, they sold the pricier types of fish and kept the sardines for themselves.
The tradition to mix this fish with raisins has its origin in the Arabic kitchen.
All these different influences of Phoenician, Greek, Cather and Romans left many traces in the culinary world of Sicily.
During the Roman times (146 BC to 468 AC) they improved the fishing methods, started farming fish and developed methods to conserve fresh fish.