Sicilian pastries

BBC via Lonely Planet recently had a feature on Sicily, and the section about street food really caught our attention:

“One of the best ways to sample Sicilian cuisine is on the streets. If you were taught that this was bad manners, you can break the rule in good company here. Palermitans are at it all the time: when they are shopping, when they are discussing business, romancing… basically at any time of the day.

What they are enjoying is the buffitieri – little hot snacks prepared at stalls and meant to be eaten on the spot, just as they were in the marketplace of Sicily’s Greek-settled cities. Kick off the morning with a pane e pannelle, Palermo’s famous chickpea fritters – great for vegetarians and they make a great change from a sweet custard-filled croissant.

Or, if it is later in the day, you might want to go for the potato croquettes, the sfincione (a spongy, oily pizza topped with onions and caciocavallo cheese) or scaccie (discs of bread dough spread with a filling and rolled up into a pancake). In summer, locals enjoy a freshly baked brioche filled with a type of ice cream flavoured with fruits, coffee or nougat.


From 1600 local time onward the snacks become decidedly more carnivorous and you may just wish you had not read the following translations: how about some barbecued stigghiola (goat intestines filled with onions, cheese and parsley), for example? Or a couple of pani cula mensa (bread roll stuffed with sautéed beef spleen). You will be asked if you want it “schietta o maritata” (“single or married”). If you choose schietta, the roll will only have ricotta in it before being dipped in to boiling lard: choose maritata and you will get the beef spleen as well.

Some what tamer, and a favourite in Catania, are all manner of impanata (bread dough snacks) stuffed with meat, vegetables or cheese, and the unique arancino (a deep-fried rice ball stuffed with meat, tomato and vegetables).” [BBC/Lonely Planet]

You can even get arancino from a New York Street Food vendor – Papa Perrone’s is known for their Sicilian rice balls.