Palermo, the capital of multicultural Sicily, regularly ranks as one of the world’s top destinations for street food. The city’s frenetic markets and down-to-earth street stalls offer an authentic taste of Sicilian culture, featuring flavors that range from the familiar to the exotic and in many cases, the completely unexpected. In a centuries-old tradition, snacking on the street was born in both poverty and practicality, but the humble, home-grown classics have been given a new cache, having been prepared by chefs from around the world. You will find versions of some of these dishes in restaurants that are eager to capitalize on the worldwide fad, but in Palermo, the street food culture remains true to its roots – simple and unpretentious.
A walk through Palermo’s streets will bring the visitor into contact with foods that seem designed to provide the maximum calories at a minimum cost! These foods are made on the spot at independently run friggitorie – where the vendor has little more than a simple grill, a vat of boiling fat or a frying pan to prepare the dish. Street food venues are scattered all over the city, with many popular spots concentrated near the bustling Vucciria, Ballarò and Capo markets. One of the finest ways to get the full experience is to take a guided tour to experience the food first hand while also learning the history behind the dishes.
During the Publisher’s Tour in Palermo, the group took a street food tour to try the unique culinary creations and to learn the backstories behind this vibrant, popular and now world-famous culture. There is even a YouTube reality show based on the unique cuisine called “Street Food in Palermo” that is both informative and quite humorous. Before you go online to watch the program, make sure to read our accompanying story “Slaughterhouse Waste Reimagined”to learn much more about these foods. The next time you visit Palermo, make sure to try as many of the dishes as you can…it is all part of the true Palermitani experience!