From my Palermo trip I have saved the best for last, namely the food. The pizze (plural for pizza) I had at Palermo were so cheesy and gooey with the characteristically crispy thin crust.
This tomato salad was so fresh. The tomatoes were sweet and not watery.
Palermo has one of the best streetfood in the world. Most Palermitan streetfood are deepfried such as: croquette, chickpea fritters, arancine etc. This is arancina (plural arancine). Rice balls with filling. This one is with ragout filling. I had this one arancina for lunch and I was full.
Other streetfood I had but not pictured was Pani ca meusa (bread with spleen and lung). There are the married (with ricotta) and single (without ricotta) version with a wedge of lemon to go with it. The bread and the filling tasted earthy. As an Indonesian I am used to eat intestines but for some of you who aren’t, the taste of this streetfood might be overwhelming.
Another island’s specialty is seafood. Fishermen of Palermo sell the catch of day on the markets and to the restaurants. Some local seafood specialties are: grilled swordfish, cuttlefish etc.
Fishermen’s boats at Port Calla. I didn’t capture the fishermen who were busy tidying their fishnet but I took this picture instead. Life seems hard there but they sail to the sea every day, bringing home the sea delicacies.
This cuttlefish was simply grilled with a bit of char on it. Man, it tasted so pure and sweet. It was prepared beautifully as it was not rubbery at all.
Old rulers of Sicily have brought citrus, pistache and almond. Lemons are everywhere. In fact one of Italian most famous liquors, Limoncello, comes from Sicily.
Palermo has three big markets: Vucciria, Ballaro and Capo. I was rather disappointed when I visited Vucciria market at 11.00 am. It was tiny and not so bustling as I have seen on the pictures. Perhaps it had to do with the season, it was winter when I was there. Another possible reason was; I was late. All markets in Palermo are open starting from 4 am. However I am convinced in spring and summer Vucciria is more alive.
However the Capo market met my expectation regarding Italian markets. Ok, it is not as big as the Porta Palazzo market in Turin but it is colourful and crowded just as markets are supposed to be in my opinion.
When in Palermo or other cities in Sicily, one must try the dessert. According to Italian cuisine connoisseurs, the more you go south in Italy, the sweeter the dessert will be. Well, I don’t quite agree with the degree of sweetness but the dessert was surely heavenly.
In Italy, gelato salons are open throughout the year. One afternoon I had this strawberry gelato. This is it, the gloriously inviting gelato fragola, photographed in the golden hour.
And one evening I bought this cup of gianduia and pistacchio. Both were smooth, creamy but not so sweet your tooth will fall out. Delicious!
The star of Sicilian dessert is cannolo (non Italian knows this better as cannoli, which is in fact a plural form of it). I have had several of them but I didn’t take a pic of it. Cannolo sellers fill the ricotta filling only by order so the shell remain crispy.
Another dolce delight I had was cassata. This tiny little sweet thing pretty sums up what Sicily has to offer; a filling of honey sweetened ricotta with pieces of candied orange peel, covered with thin marzipan layer.
Exploring food in Palermo was fun. The proud locals were helpful explaining their culinary heritage. The mix and combination of ingredients truly represent the history of the island; vibrant, versatile and rich. Some of the items on my foodie wishlist have been tallied. Grazie Palermo!