The undisputed king of street food in Palermo: the Sfincione.


If talking about street food inevitably leads to the idea of a meal that is to be consumed in a hurry, when you make landfall in Sicily, forget the concept of hurrying. Gestures, words and even food in this island have a “sacred slow” rhythm.
We are in Palermo, the city of markets, where the Arab atmosphere is still alive and palpable. Here street food is not a fashion, but the ancestral ritual of a culture in which food is still a genuine gratification of senses and a moment to share.


Among the numerous foods you will find for sale on the street corners of the regional capital of Sicily, the sfincione is among the most ancient and best represents the way of living of these people.


U sfinciune (in dialect) is sold in historic neighbourhoods exclusively by peddlers, known as sfinciunari, who gush over their perfume and flavour with long arabesque chants that are incomprehensible to the non-locals. The origin of the name, from the Latin spongia (sponge)  (http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sfincione) , leads us to imagine a particularly soft dough.


Flour, water and yeast are made all the more delicate by the presence of lard, an unavoidable ingredient in old-school Sicilian cuisine. I like to think that Sicilians are too lazy to nibble a crunchier dough, and so the lightness of the sfincione contributes towards supporting their inborn laziness. In the best local tradition, the filling consists of tomato, onion, oregano, anchovy, breadcrumbs and caciocavallo cheese, which are indiscernible to the eye, because they are ground together and fried before crowning the dough... to prevent, heavens forbid, an easy digestion.
 


You can taste the sfincione at Angelo Lo Giudice kiosk, every morning from 11.00 on, at the corner between Napoli street and Roma street, a few steps from San Domenico square, on the back of Vucciria market but also in any other historical market of the town


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