Stragusto, Street Food Festival and Panelle Recipe

Last week-end on the opposite side of the island, in Trapani, the event Stragusto celebrated street food with the first Mediterranean street food festival.
Sicily is famous for the quality and variety of traditional street food. You buy them from street hawkers in the markets, especially in Palermo and Catania, or in dedicated shops (rosticcerie). There is an amazing range: panelle, arancine, scacci, sfincioni, focacce, crespelle, pane ca meusa, etc.
The festival also included street food from other Mediterranean areas such as cabbucio, cous cous, piadine, brik, kebab.

Many of this recipes make for perfect finger food for standing cocktail parties or as a starter if you are planning a dinner party. One of my personal favourites is 'panelle', which are chickpeas fritters typically found in Palermo. Here is the recipe:

200gr chickpeas flour
500gr water
4 tbsp chopped parsley Salt and pepper

You mix 200gr of chickpeas flour with 500gr of water, chopped parsley, salt and pepper.
Stir it until the flour is fully disolved.
Put on medium fire to cook and keep stirring continuously, to avoid lumps. Cook for about 25 minutes then take off the heat and spread out on a cold surface (such as a marble kitchen top), spreading out until about half a centimetre thick.
Let it cool off, then cut into desired shapes (traditionally rectangular) and deep-fry in corn or olive oil until golden brown. It should have the consistency of a crunchy pancake.

Unfortunately, I did not manage to go to Trapani to the event this year. I have no pictures for you then. But I linked here to a fantastic documentary on Palermo Street Food done by Barbara Serra, one of my favourite Italian "international" journalists who works for Al Jazira English.

Written on
July 27, 2009
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