Friday, July 29, 2011

Palermo Eating

I went away on holiday in Sicily and the first stop was Palermo. It was a good way to start and the people had a matter of fact friendly charm to them.

Food was also another factor and we had some good food that we enjoyed.


This was a side street stall that we were brought to by our lovely B&B owner. These were fast food made to order. The first was Canelle which is made from chick pea flour. Freshly fried, it was soft and melting in your mouth with the crunchiness oath exterior from being deep dried. This was cooked so fresh that even having eaten it halfway, there were still steam vapours emanating. It was different to have carbs as a filling rather than meat or vegs and I was starting to feel like carb overload.


The croquettes had a light glutinous texture, almost starchy with a crispy deep fried skin. Tiny bits of mint add a refreshing and minty taste.

Picture 308
We had a cooked dinner of pasta with zucchini with a sprinkle of nutmeg. It was wholesome and good. Simple ingredients with a well balanced flavour that could not go wrong. The zucchini was refreshing with a slight juicy creaminess to it. Our lovely B&B owner also made us lunch, well we chipped in and it was the first time I had to handle or knew what to do with artichokes. So much effort for such a tiny amount but it was worth it!


Next day after some cannoli for breakfast we headed out. Lunch was at a random cafe at the piazza at Monreale. We had the £15 set lunch menu + sides.


For the Primo Piatto, we had the Pasta Alla Norma (tomato sauce and eggplant)

Secondo Piatto, Salsiccia (sausages)
Contorno, Insalata Mista (mixed salad)

Random unassuming cafe it may be but the food was simple, clean, fresh and bursting with flavours.

Back in Palermo, after a decent dinner which I found the atmosphere and service a little wanting, we decided to cut it short and headed somewhere else for dessert instead.

A few blocks away was Dei Vespri. Not the mama and papa type but a made for Michelin was how it was set up. We set out on the terrace and settled in for dessert.

Hazelnut waffle with ricotta cream aromatized with lemon served with kiwi and a Frappato wine and red fruits jelly Euro 10
Fine Tawny Porto from Croft €7

I was expecting the American type waffle but what ended up in front of me was a tiered tower of paper thin hazelnut waffle alternating with ricotta cream. There was the touch of Italian-ess to it with the ricotta. I remember not tasting much of the hazelnut but this was still very much enjoyed.

Chocolate “Cru” by Varlhona and Cluizel with fresh fruit mousse, dried figs and Marsala wine reduction €12
Marsala Superiore Oro Docle from Pellegrino €7

Chocolate lovers would not be disappointed with this. The wine reduction was gorgeous with the fresh fruits providing a healthy and acidic touch to the richness of the chocolate.

After our desserts, we were also presented with a tray of petit fours. The desserts are not cheap and certainly not traditional either but are an option to consider.

We also had lunch at Trattoria Il Maestro del Brodo which is located near the Vucciria Market. We dropped by for lunch on a Sunday when it was in full service and had to wait quite a while before we got a table.

Spaghetti vongole €8

It's tougher to find places which serve bad pasta dishes as was told by our B&B owner especially in a place that is also frequented by the locals. This vongole was no exception either. Al dente pasta with the juices of the mussels seeped in the sauce. It was good, couldn't stop myself licking the remains of the sauce.

Gamberoni alla Palermitana €15

With every table around us having seafood, it would be wrong not to order some seafood as well and we got the gamberoni on the suggestion of the waitress. Great suggestion as the seafood was fresh and juicy with a springback or QQ texture. The crunchy nuggets coating each seafood were tiny parcels of salty and savoury morsels. 


Due to a miscommunication, we found ourselves with cassata for dessert. Not being a huge fan, this did not light any fireworks for me. What we wanted which we managed to order in the end is this.


Osteria dei Vespri
Piazza Croce dei Vespri 6, 90133
Tel: 091-617 1631

Trattoria Il Meastro del Brodo
Via Pannieri 7, 90133
Tel: 091-329 523

For travel photos and tips, please click here

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  1. O my god! looks like you were having a wonderful time! I would love to go to Sicily... I have been reading these Sicilian crime novels where the detective is only talking about food all the time. I am not keen on cassata either by the way.

  2. The croquettes look delish! Were there salt cod bits in there? The Canelle looks rather sinful but what comfort food doesn't?

  3. Ute - Definitely worth going. I can go back again and have to tell me what crime novels those are..would love to read them too.

    London Chow - no salt cod bits just pure carbs and mint! it was soooo good but really carb overload!

  4. I wholly believe that the best food on earth is in Italy. I've loved the food in Rome, Venice and Milan and am kicking myself that I never made it to Florence or Cinque Terra! The pastas look divine, especially that one with the tomato/eggplant sauce!

  5. Catty - Yes, I keep ordering the Pasta Alla Norma, is just amazing! Italian cuisine is fast going high up to my favourite food list. =)


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