Above: A salad of locally farmed cherry tomatoes and capers served at Trattoria Ai Gechi on the island of Stromboli, Italy

The traditional cooking of theAeolian Islandsis an especially sunny and succulent version of the Sicilian kitchen. However, seafood plays an even more prominent role in Aeolian cuisine, and recipes reflect the culinary self-sufficiency and seasonality the islands’ relative isolation once required. For centuries, almost everything the islanders ate came from their own small farms or was fished from local waters. Small and sweet cherry tomatoes; various iterations of the caper plant, including its buds, berries and leaves; herbs, such as rosemary, oregano and basil; citrus fruit; garlic; onions; and olives. Bright-tasting wild herbs are still collected by many Aeolian families, too, including finocchio selvatico (wild fennel), mirto (myrtle), nepitella (mint), ruchetta selvatica (wild arugula) and dente di leone (dandelion).

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Above: A salad of locally farmed cherry tomatoes and capers served at Trattoria Ai Gechi on the island of Stromboli, Italy

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