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Sicily Campaign Blog 1

Get a Taste of Sicilian Street Food

Alex Shaked
by Alex Shaked

September 22, 2023

3 minute read

Each region of Italy has their own unique take on Italian cuisine (reminder: you won’t find chicken parm or alfredo in authentic restaurants). Sicilian food has been influenced by the Greeks, Arabs, Spaniards, and French settlers that settled across the island.

You’ll find pasta con le sarde, fresh sardines in bucatini, with a North African inspired sauce with pine nuts, raisins, and saffron. There’s caponata — A sweet and sour cooked salad with fried eggplant, onions, celery, tomato, and sometimes pine nuts and raisins. Pasta alla Norma is an impeccable representation of Sicilian cuisine, using local tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, basil and ricotta salata — salted ricotta.

These dishes are common when you’re sitting down with the famously welcoming Sicilian people. But Sicily also has a rich culture of street food.

There’s a saying in Sicily: Nun c’è megghiu sarsa di la fami. It means, “The best seasoning is appetite.” And there’s really no better way to work up your appetite than eating on the go.

  • Arancine/Arancini
  • These fried balls of risotto are surprisingly divisive. Sicilians can’t land on the name of this dish: Arancino vs. arancina. We can all agree, however, that they’re delicious.

  • Cannoli
  • These lightly fried tubes of sweet, creamy ricotta originated in Sicily! You’ve got to try one while you’re there.

  • Crocchè
  • These deep-fried potato croquettes are made unique and a touch brighter with some chopped, fresh mint.

  • Granita
  • A cold sweet treat. Imagine sorbet and Italian ice meeting with a crystalline texture.

  • Panelle
  • Chickpea fritters. These can be eaten on their own, or in a bun, which is called pane e panelle.

  • Panino
  • You know this one. At home, you may call this panini. There’s no greater street food than a handheld grilled sandwich.

  • Sfincione
  • This is Palermo’s street food answer to pizza. It’s a hearty sheet pan dough topped with light tomato sauce and cheese, anchovies, and crisp breadcrumbs.

Bonus entries for adventurous foodies:

  • Pani ca’ Meusa
  • This common dish from Palermo is a lung and spleen sandwich. The veal meat sits on a sesame seed bun.

  • Stigghiola
  • This seasoned lamb intestine is placed on an edible skewer, made from a spring onion.

If the best seasoning truly is appetite, may your Sicilian street food journey be well-seasoned. Happy snacking!

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