Second stop on my Sicilian adventure was Palermo. This is the capital city and had a feel similar to larger seaside Croatian towns. Busy streets, impressive but slightly dishevelled buildings and lots of food. Palermitans are known for eating all the time – and particularly eating on the streets.
A highlight was visiting the souk-like market for a delicious streetfood lunch in La Vucciaria and Ballaró
There were huge amounts of fish around
Fresh fruits and veggies piled up high (even marzipan versions!)
…cheese is everywhere
I was more interested in trying ‘buffitieri’ - little hot snacks made at the stalls to be eaten straight away…for example ‘pannelle’ – Palamero’s famous chickpea fritters and potato croquettes (‘crocchè’).
Deep fried and then eaten hot – can also be served in a bread roll (‘pane e panelle’)
Others went for ‘pani cu'la mensa’ (ab read roll stuffed with sautéed beef spleen).
The best was a plate of delicious freshly boiled pulpa (octopus) covered in lime and coriander – heaven!
And they even gave us some wine to help wash it down!
After sightseeing for a while (see my blog about the sights), it was time to re-stock our stomachs, so we stopped for a coffee and cannoli break at Pizzeria Bellini.
Cannoli are typical Sicilian pastry desserts.
These fried pastry dough tube are then freshly filled with sweetened ricotta and sprinkled with confectionary sugar when ordered.
Heavy going…especially for a non-cheese fan!
And particularly when paired with a creamy sweet iced coffee.
One hot sticky evening I cooled off with a ‘granita’ – an iced drink / dessert made from sugar, water and flavouring. It’s basically a blend between an ice-cream and a sorbet. However, I chose a mint flavoured one which I wouldn’t recommend – it was basically like mouthwash! The best was the almond flavoured one.
On our second night in Palermo we went to Piazza Marina for dinner at one of the restaurants surrounding the Villa Garibaldi.
Kicking off with some local red wine…
…and then most people opted for a pizza…
But I’d spotted ‘Argentinian’ steaks on the menu to settled down to a generous meat’n’chips plate.
To finish off there was a plate of puddings to choose from (including crème brulee and pana cotta) but instead I went for limoncello (italy’s lemon liqueur and digestive).
We then stopped at a gelateria (ice cream shop) on the way home.
Even spotting a ‘brioche con gelato’ – essentially a brioche bun stuffed with ice cream! Serious Sicilian food!