I was in Rome. It's one of my top three food cities in Italy. Believe me, I ate more than my share of Roman dishes, but I also had a craving for some Sicilian food. I wanted an authentic cannolo (singular for cannoli) Siciliano, some granita, and an arancino (rice croquettes). Unfortunately this trip wasn't going to include the island at the toe of Italy's boot. Thanks to a friend in Rome, I knew of a place where I could get a taste of Sicily….in Rome.
Mizzica, it’s a Sicilian word that means nothing. It’s an expression, used like Americans would say “wow!” or “OMG!” (I wonder what the acronym for Mizzica would be?) This Mizzica is a bar and Tavola Calda (hot table with already prepared foods). The owners are from Catania and all the food is typical of the city and the island. Their arancini are as good, and maybe better, than many I have tasted while circling Sicily. An arancino is a pyramid (or round if you're in Palermo) shaped rice "ball". Traditionally, they form day-old risotto around thick meat ragu with peas, and at its center is cheese, melted when fried, and flowing into each messy bite. All your food groups are in one arancino—carbs, protein, fruit (tomato sauce), veggies, and dairy.
Their savory treats are good, but I could come here for the Sicilian sweets alone. They have a complete array—cannoli, cassata, almond paste biscotti, Frutti di Martolana (marzipan), gelato and granita. My favorites are the cannoli and granita. Ingredients are brought up from Sicily weekly, ensuring authentic flavors and the cannoli are filled with the creamy sheep ricotta from the Sicily. The granite are a celebration of the flavors of Sicily—pistachio, almond, lemon, chocolate, caffe con panna (cream), gelsi (mulberry), peach, fico di India (prickly pear) and other daily selections.
Instead of trying to eat gracefully while standing (impossible for me), I shared a table outside with a Sicilian living in Rome, who also had a craving for Sicilian food.
Mizzica has two locations in Rome, one near Piazza Bologna on Via Catanzaro 30 and one on Via Lucrezio Caro 14 behind Piazza Cavour. For just a few euros (around 10 euros for a filling lunch and dessert) you can satisfy your Sicilian craving, or if you’ve not yet traveled there, you can get a little taste of Sicily while in Rome.