It’s no secret that Italy has one of the most popular cuisines in the world. Many gastronomy enthusiasts and general food lovers alike swarm here to satisfy their taste buds with some of the world’s best wine and dine experiences. But if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous than spaghetti vongole to tickle your culinary fancy, then look no further and welcome to Palermo. In fact, today Palermo is a top-ranked city in the world for its street food.
The former Greek, Spanish, Norman and Arab city inherited a fusion of cultures, traditions, and of course recipes, which formed into a truly unique Mediterranean street food extravaganza! Good news for the vegetarians out there, for there are as many meat-free options to dig into as well!
While there are many available guided market food tours around the city, we’ve decided to give you a list of must-try palermitan dishes – for those who dare to explore on their own!
- 1 Panelle e crocce
Panelle are basically pieces of dough made of chickpea flour, deep fried in oil. Crunchy on the outside and incredibly soft and delicious on the inside, they can be eaten as they are, or put inside a sandwich (panino con panelle). Crocce are deep fried potato croquettes. Street food vendors like to compete for the best panelle and crocce in town, and they won’t leave you alone until they get your vote!
- 2 Pane ca meusa
This chopped beef spleen sandwich is one of the most popular dishes in Palermo. Local cooks add some salt and lemon juice, sometimes olive oil as well. It might not sound appealing at first, but you’ll be asking for the second one right away! Pane ca meusa is served also in restaurants, in this case you’ll have it served with a dab of ricotta or other fresh cheese.
- 3 Sfincione
Sfincione is a traditional Sicilian pizza with a thicker and softer dough and tomato sauce topping. Usually it’s quite simple – tomato sauce, some onions and cheese. Simple and delicious!
- 4 Arancine
Arancine meaning ‘oranges’ are rice balls with variousstuffing – meat or veggies. They get their orange colour from being deep fried oil and spices. Locals eat them both cold and hot – your choice!
- 5 Caponata
Caponata is an eggplant casserole, with tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and herbs. It is loved by the locals! Try it with some fresh baked warm bread… Yumm!
- 6 Mangia e bevi
The name is literally translated as ‘eat and drink’. These are green onions wrapped in bacon and grilled. They are served cut in rolls like sushi. Smoky and delicious!
- 7 Stigghiola
A top gastronomic experience for the brave ones! Grilled Beef intestines anyone? These are served as they are with a slice of lemon for zest. Try it and gain enormous respect from the locals!
It’s unlikely that you’ll find this cuisine anywhere else in Italy. So make the most of your visit to Palermo !