In markets of Ballarò, Vucciria and Borgo, between a purchase and another, you can taste (or make a real meal) the best Sicilian street food. Arancine and Panelle peep from counters sellers. In Vucciria go to “Purparo”. Sells freshly caught octopus. Some cooks them in a pot with salted water and within minutes the octopus is on display on the counter available for those who want to sample this delicacy. Eat it with lemon and parsley. The “Purpu” and “Cicireddu”, fried fish, are the only type of fish that you can eat on the street.
Pani ca’ meusa
The less squeamish will appreciate a specialty that according to many is unbeatable. The “Pani ca’meusa”, spleen or lungs or scannarozzato (tracheal) calf, retouched in Saimi (lard) and eaten in vastedda (typical round sandwich sprinkled with sesame seeds). Choose Maritato if you want it with the addition of ricotta cheese, “Schiettu” if you prefer simply wet by drops of lemon. The best “Pani ca’meusa” does the Focacceria San Francesco, since 1843. Franco ‘U Vastiddaru, is another magician sandwich with the spleen and specializes in fried foods of all kinds.
Arancine represent perhaps the most obvious compromise of the multitude of “rulers” that Sicily has had over time: the use of the rice and saffron is of Saracen origin; French tradition emerges in the choice of the traditional meat sauce and homonyms arancine, indeed called arancini with meat sauce; the use of cheese, however, is of Greek descent and takes shape and develops in “Arancina al burro” (with saffron, cheese and ham). Today there are so many versions are available: those with spinach, chicken and cheese, until the modern versions with black cuttlefish, seafood, porcini mushrooms
Sfincione and Pane Cunzato
Sfincione is done thanks to an ancient recipe that sees as the basic ingredient of bread and pizza topped with a sauce of tomato, onion, anchovies, oregano and chopped cheese typical Sicilian. A real treat. Where to eat? Antica Focacceria San Francesco in Palermo, a really famous place or “Nino U Ballerinu” in “Finocchiaro Aprile Street”.
“Pane Cunzato” is a treat for those who come to Palermo, made with a freshly baked loaf, split in two over with olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, add the fresh tomatoes cut in half anchovies and oregano . I recommend eating in Monreale in bakery Campanella you find the right as you go up the street to go to the square. Enjoy also a sweet break with a nice cannoli or a fragrant baked cassata.
The “Brioches” of Sicily are unrivaled, soft and warm, perhaps accompanied by a good granita or ice cream to go and you will enjoy a huge brioche with ice cream decorated with a tasty topping of black or white chocolate, hazelnut or pistachio.
Everywhere in Sicily and Palermo is the Cannoli. Small or large, the classic and the real Sicilian ricotta and just. Accompanied by a good coffee for breakfast or as a sweet treat after dinner the cannoli is always good. The Sicilian Cassata is a cake made with sponge cake, marzipan, sweetened ricotta and candied fruit. The term derives from the Latin cassata “caseum”, which means cheese or from Arabic “qas’at”, namely basin. Cassata baked, instead, is a thin pastry filled with ricotta, the same that you find in the cannoli. The top is dusted with sugar and cinnamon. if you go to Scopello, try cassatella, hot fried stuffed with ricotta cheese. Check it out at the bar “La Sorgente” of Castellammare del Golfo.