Sicily: street food heaven

Italy is famous for its food. But what most people don’t know (until recently me included), there are so many different cuisines in Italy as there are different regions. I’ve had an opportunity to explore the tasty world of Sicily street food, which fascinated me with its simplicity, ultimate comfort food vibe and economical prices.

My hungry fascination ran so deep, I forgot to take pictures. Again!

 

Street Food Markets

The best food, in my opinion, is available in the market, where they offer authentic ingredients from the hands of the locals. Forget the fine restaurants that attract guests with champagne and slick waiters, although the experience is very accessible in Palermo due to reasonable costs. But, If you are like me, you will end asking the polished server if you can finish your beer next to the near by statue on the square since you can hear the street musicians far better there. Their music outdid the bland pasta anyway … Mission treat yourself to a fancy restaurant dinner: failed!

 

Street food Sicily
A pile of artichoke.

 

There are quite a few food markets in Palermo, in the typical style of the nation that loves food, the most popular are La Vucciria, Mercato di Capo, Ballaro and Borgo Vecchio. Spices, fruit, vegetables, an endless selection of cheeses, dry meats and artichokes are not only an alluring challenge for a hungry traveller, but prices on stalls also make it a real feast worthy of the Mediterranean island.

 

Street food Sicily
This picture was actually taken in Taormina … but you get the idea. 🙂

 

The Winner: pezzi!

The real joy is tiny pezzi, happiness that consists of a carbohydrate bomb combined with local cheeses and meat products. Little sandwiches, stuffed buns and similar pieces of heaven are heated, arrayed into neat boxes and served with local beers. The midnight snack should be enjoyed sitting on old church staircases, possibly overlooking the Palermo’s Pretoria fountain, a stone art piece imported from Florence, consisting of a series of statues, depicting various mythical creatures. The Sicilian mermaids possess two fish fins, which amazes me quite a bit, in the meantime, I learn something new about the Sicilian people too. Their friendly character derives from the self-preservation knowledge of real islanders, they understand that welcoming newcomers is much more efficient than trying to scare them away since the island can not be defended. Indeed, despite the accumulation of inconsiderable tourists, people are quite tolerant, generous and friendly.

 

Street food Sicily
Pezzi!

 

Arancini or arancina? Cannoli!

Lovely arancini are a local speciality, the pride of Sicily, but there are frictions between Palermo and rival Catania, about their correct gender. In Palermo, they call them arancina, since the best things in the city are female, like the famous saint of Santa Madonna del Rosario, official patroness of the city. Fried rice dumplings stuffed with meat, spinach or other surprises are more masculine on the other side of the island, in Catania, but I do not see the difference myself because I’m still dreaming about pezzies.

Cannoli is probably the most famous Sicilian culinary export product, widely distributed in the US. The fried dough, filled with sweet ricotta, is enough for itself. Enthusiasts, such as they are, add pistachio, chocolate or other extras on top, bringing a person to the verge of sweet dizziness like no other. All this in the harsh competition of confectioners, as has not been seen by the traveller, patisseries are full of unnamed pastry, sugar products, biscuits and sweet rolls.

Over a bowl of chocolate granita siciliana, I learn about first people who supposedly invented the beloved ice cream, these were the Greeks, settling on the slopes of Mount Etna. Bringing snow from the mountain, they mixed it with different ingredients, resulting in refreshing dessert, still popular over Sicily.

 

Best meal of the trip?

The simple salad I made by myself in the lovely Airbnb apartment’s kitchen in the heart of Taormina. Fresh cherry pomodori pelati, aromatic dried oregano, olive oil and a chunk of perfectly round buffalo mozzarella cheese from Napoli, bought after the optimistic hunt for food at 11 pm in the evening. Background music: corny Italian festival songs from decades ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. josypheen
    October 12, 2017
    Reply

    This is such a yummy sounding place to visit!
    I love the sound of a “carbohydrate bomb combined with local cheeses and meat products.” 😀

    • October 12, 2017
      Reply

      haha, once you go Pezzi you never go back 😉

  2. October 27, 2017
    Reply

    Italy and Sicily are right up there on my list of where to go next. I think I need a tiny pezzi and a beer right now. Followed by a cannoli. I think it’s hilarious you forgot to take photos and sad that the fancy restaurant didn’t live up to expectations.

    • October 28, 2017
      Reply

      Haha, Italy with Sicily really is a great destination, especially for foodies!! I could have a tiny pezzi and cannoli anytime <3

  3. October 27, 2017
    Reply

    Haha. That always happens with me. I get so lost in the beauty of the place I have visited that I forget completely about pictures. Well I love to read about places I have been planning to visit. This one is a helpful and humourous post. Keep rocking !

    • October 28, 2017
      Reply

      Thank god we have words to describe things, huh! As much as I love photography there is a place and time for it… not when you are hungry or super excited for sure 😀

  4. October 28, 2017
    Reply

    Buffalo mozzarella cheese from Napoli that just seals the deal lol, FOOD HEAVEN I must say , I visited Florence last year ………can never forget the awesome cuisines!

    • October 28, 2017
      Reply

      Italy is divine regarding the food, definitely!

  5. October 28, 2017
    Reply

    Wow..that is some yummy looking food. Did not know this side of Sicily !

  6. Alexander Popkov
    October 28, 2017
    Reply

    I love street food! Always glad to discover new locations where it is good

  7. October 29, 2017
    Reply

    Tiny pezzi sounds interesting ! I didn’t know Italy had such a large variety of food and certainly didn’t know they were big on street food ! Sounds pretty cool.

    • October 29, 2017
      Reply

      I am not sure about the north part and street food, they sure have amazing thing called aperitivo, but south is big on street goodies definitey 🙂

  8. October 29, 2017
    Reply

    Forgetting to take photographs… I do that all the time!! Get caught up in the moment, living in the moment and then I get home with no photos, just beautiful memories. Love this post, I have never been to Sicily but it is high on the list. Hoping to visit next year on our way to Malta. Cheers!

  9. October 30, 2017
    Reply

    This is a really interesting piece about the food of Sicily. And even though you forgot to take photos, I really like the ones you have included here.

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