Monday, 27 February 2017

Sicilian Food We Tried

These were delicious. They're made from a mixture of mashed potato and egg that's been covered in breadcrumbs and fried. Very creamy on the inside, though a little crunchy on the outside. Basically croquettes.

pani ca' meusa (spleen sandwich)
I only tried this once.  Perhaps I need another run at it, to get used to the idea. Jo slyly used her vegetarianism as an excuse not to have any. When I ordered it (by mistake - I thought I was ordering something less abdominal), I think the man who served me laughed. This may have been paranoia, but no-one else there seemed to be eating spleen sandwich.

The offal was cooking in a big, brass-looking pan that was very wide but quite shallow. From this it was ladled into a bun and topped with grated cheese. I feel a bit embarrassed to only have eaten about half of my organ bap, but the bits of gristle I kept hitting halted my progress too much and kept bringing my mind back to the gutsy nature of the meal. Also, it was just a bit bland.

The restaurant in Palermo where I had my spleen sandwich is worth a visit. The owners pride themselves in not cooperating with the mafia. They're part of the Addiopizzo movement, in which businesses refuse the pay 'pizzo' [protection money].

The site of my first ever spleen sandwich. It's on Via Alessandro Paternostro, which is also home to independent boutiques, artists studios and some good graffiti.
These are chick pea fritters that are tastier than that sounds. These are everywhere among the street food snacks that tourist guides implore visitors to try. The best version we tried was at the Palermo restaurant Ferro di Cavallo, which did very good, apparently authentic Sicilian food at reasonable prices.

arancini (little orange)
These are not little oranges, but you'll not mistake them for that: it's just what they're named after. They're balls of rice, often with a delicious filling, that are deep fried and sold everywhere as a street snack. Deservedly popular, they seem to be held in high esteem in Sicilian cuisine.

A sweet pastry whose name means 'little tube', these fried delights are generally filled with ricotta cheese. These, too, are absolutely ubiquitous and seemingly tied-up in Sicilian identity in a way that goes beyond their actual tastiness.

1 comment:

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