Palermo is a city where everything happens in the streets, out in the sun – the Sicilian sun – and its street food is the result of centuries of foreign dominations, typical produce of Sicily and local simplicity. The city and its gastronomy are worth a visit.
The first time I visited Sicily without my parents and with some friends was during a holiday I did in summer 2010. It began with a long drive through the Salerno-Reggio Calabria, one of the most scenic highways of Italy, from my hometown – Benevento – to Palermo.
As soon as I boarded the ferry that connects mainland Italy in Calabria to Messina in Sicily, I tasted the Arancini – some of the most renowned and typical street food of Sicily and appreciated in every corner of the world. The ferry who connects the two coasts is famous all over Italy for its special arancini; this is because it constantly travels back and forth through the strait of Messina, where it gathers these delicacies in one of the rosticceria (rotisserie) of the Sicilian town and displays these fried-rice-balls to travelling tourists and locals providing them with an authentic taste of Sicilia even before touching the island itself.
Tasting the arancini – called arancine in the west of Sicily – on the ferry is a gastronomic training for tourists’ mouths before getting to the Capital: Palermo.
When I arrived in town, I wanted to taste some local typical street food and a friend of mine helped me with the mission of finding the very peculiar tastes of Palermo; I remember he said “You will discover, this is a city to eat more than to visit” – and so it was!
Palermo is a city rich of food traditions, some of these delicacies can be a bit weird at first sight – or bite – but once one gets used he/she will surely ask for a second portion. Here is a list of twelve typical street food dishes you can enjoy when walking through the old town