Pass the Pizza

Muslims ruled Sicily in southern Italy for a while. They left their mark:

  • Sfincioni, a Sicilian word for pizza, derives from the Arabic sfang, a fried dough or pastry that was perhaps fermented. It led to the invention of a number of different kinds of pizzas.
  • Pizza developed in Muslim Sicily and North Africa before its "invention" in Naples. The stuffed pizza of Sicily is similar to that in Algeria.
  • Many breads of Sicily have Arab connections from the time the Muslim community existed in the 9th to 13th centuries such as cumin seed bread. Yet another contribution of the Arabs is sesame seeds on bread.