Caponata di melenzane
The queen of the vegetable stews! its sweet and sour character, colourful appearance and flavour packed soul will make any vegetarian jump for joy and turn meat eaters into part time vegetarians. There are many versions of the stew on the island (apparently 37 official versions), depending on local customs. There are many theories about the origin of the name “Caponata”; one of them says that it has Catalan origin and that around 16th century the stew was made adding a fish called “capone”. However, only aristocratic families could afford to buy this kind of fish so, around the 17th century, poor families decided to use aubergines instead of fish and the stew was consumed accompanied with bread. There is another interesting thing about this stew and this is the use of raisins and pine kernels; this is probably because of the influence of the Arab occupation of the island between 827 AD and 1091 AD.