If you like sweets you will be happy in Palermo.
At every corner there is a bakery and inside every bakery there is a treasure of cannoli, pasta di mandorle, cassata and more.
The best bakery will build your cannolo right there, in front of your eyes, they do not want the fried pastry dough shell to get soggy, so they keep it aside and add the ricotta cream, and the topping at the very last minute! those are the best!
You will catch yourself indulge in way too many that your diet would allow you but, come on! how many time will you able to eat the real thing?
Sicilian cuisine is so great, I feel embarassed oi try to resume my feelings. That will take a bit of time and some more effort. In the meantime, I'd like to report about a few restaurants I consider my favourite in Palermo:
CAPRICCI di SICILIA - in piazza Sturzo, that is 100 metres from Politeama Theatre (central stop of the buses coming from thge Airport). Only Sicilian cuisine (but that was unuseful to mention, I wouldn't even think of giving you any advice with different peculiarities), good wines, kitchen is open until 11.30 pm, no music, no noise, clean and well decoarted. A pleasant place, with an unforgettable cuisine.
If you are in Monreale: LA BOTTE - a scenic restaurant a few kilometres uphill from Monreale, good Sicilian cuisine, pleasant and peaceful place with a wonderful sightseeing over Palermo and Monreale and what used to be the 'Conca d'Oro', i.e. the 'golden cup', in the times when the orange trees filled the plain.
Bread and spleen ("panino con la milza")is also a common traditional food you may easily find in the street markets or at some small stalls along the roads. The spleen is prepared during hours of cooking with onions, tomato and salt; sometimes raped cheese is also put within the the two pieces of bread that are commonly use to serve it.
It's nothing new, but the "Mediterranean Diet,
High in vegetables, fruits, grains, monounsaturated fats and various complex carbohydrates but low in cholesterol and certain forms of saturated fat.
Great food and nothing to worry about later. Just eat and enjoy the best food on the planet.
Sea food plates, and many more fish and meat dishes cooked in Sicilian way.
Favorite Dish: What to look out for during a visit to the region. Typical food and dishes, food related festivals, wine, cheese, sea food, lemons and oranges.
8 tablespoons rum
4 tablespoons brandy
6 tablespoons strong black coffee
15-18 sponge fingers
14 ozs Mascarpone
4 tablespoons icing sugar
5 fl ozs double cream (or whipping cream for a lower fat version or half cream for even lower fat)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
crushed Chocolate Flake
Mix together half the rum, the brandy and coffee. Arrange the sponge fingers at the bottom of a shallow dish and pour the liquid evenly over them.
Mix together the Mascarpone, egg yolks, remaining rum and the icing sugar. Whip the egg whites and gently mix with the cheese mixture. Spoon over the soaked sponge fingers and place in the fridge for at least two hours before serving.
To finish, whisk the cream and spread over the pudding. Dust with cocoa using a sieve and sprinkle with the crushed Flake. Serve with light biscuits.
BON APPETIT !!
Favorite Dish: Pasta con sarde is spaghetti served with sardines. Scampi, gamberetti and gamberoni are all shrimp. Cuscus di pesce, of Arabic origin, is semolina and chopped up fish. Try involtini alla siciiana which is slices of veal wrapped around ham salami, cheese and breadcrumbs and then grilled. Try capretto (roast kid) and coniglio (rabbit in a sweet and sour sauce).
Not only a name of a restaurant, but few specialties
Favorite Dish: Caponata, a tasty salad made with eggplant (aubergines), olives, capers and celery, makes a great appetizer. There is also an artichoke-based version of this traditional dish, though you're less likely to find it in most restaurants. Sfincione is a local form of pizza made with tomatoes, onions and (sometimes) anchovies. Prepared on a thick bread and more likely found in a bakery than in a pizzeria, sfincione is good as a snack or appetizer.
Panella is a thin paste made of crushed or powdered ceci (garbanzo) beans and served fried. Maccu is a creamy soup made from the same bean. Crocché (croquet) are fried potato dumplings made with cheese, parsley and eggs. Arancini are fried rice balls stuffed with meat or cheese.
Sicily is renowned for its seafood. Grilled swordfish is popular. Smaller fish, especially snapper, is sometimes prepared in a vinegar and sugar sauce. Seppia (cuttlefish) is served in its own black sauce with pasta. Another Sicilian seafood dish made with pasta is finnochio con sarde (fennel with sardines).
Meat dishes are always popular. Many are traditionally made with lamb or goat. Best known outside Sicily is vitello alla marsala (veal marsala), one of many regional meat specialties. Chicken 'alla marsala' can be prepared using a similar recipe and method. Milza (veal spleen) sandwiches are a bit 'native' for most tastes, and loaded with cholesterol, but delicious anyway.
Sicilian desserts are superlative. Cannoli are tubular crusts with creamy ricotta and sugar filling. If they taste a little different from the ones you've had outside Italy, that's because the ricotta here is made from sheep's milk. Cassata is a rich, sugary cake filled with the same delicious filling. Frutta di Martorana (or pasta reale) are almond marzipan pastries colored and shaped to resemble real fruit. Sicilian gelato (ice cream) is excellent. In fact, it is possible that ice cream was invented in Sicily during Roman times, when a relay of runners would bring snow down from Mount Etna to be flavored and served to wealthy patricians. You'll find flavors ranging from pistachio and hazelnut (nocciola) to jasmine (gelsomino) to mulberry (gelsi) to strawberry (fragala) and rum (zuppa inglese). Granita is sweetened crushed ice made in Summer and flavored with lemons or strawberries.
There are so many rstaurants to choose from in Palermo, but I must say that the food is good wherever you so, so it is all a matter of your personal taste.
Sicilian food, is wlel known all over the world not only for the spices but the unique taste and quality.
Favorite Dish: You are faced with a variety of choices, sometimes I jsut settle for the 'Food of the House' being served because it is the best treat of the day.
Some restaurants also offer a course meal with various dishes which is best if you are up to a it.
Pane e Panelle - again a Sicilian speciality which I have been told comes from its African heritage - its very tasty and appeals to the scottish taste for 'stodge' as far as I can see it is made of chick pea pure, parsley and is deep fried in oil...hmm I feel hungry
Another menu item to be found in the san Francesco bakery is Milze, made of the same ingredients as haggis!!
There are traditions of fine dining in many parts of the world, but somehow the Italians seem to enjoy their food more than most. In Sicily, in particular, an invitation to lunch usually means that you can forget about the rest of the day. And one thing the Arabs left when they departed was a love for sweet desserts. Sicilian cassata and cannoli are delightful and delicious - but somewhat daunting when they arrive after the calamari, the pasta, the swordfish, the salad, the cheeses, all washed down by a bottle or two of the robust and earthy local wine.
"Panelle" is the word defining a squared piece of chick-pea dough that is deep fried and eaten with bread. "Pane e panelle" (literally "bread and panelle") is a very common popular food.