|The renowned pane e panelle (homemade)
PALERMO and PANELLE: The two words are forever bond, because the ‘pane e panelle‘ (the panelle sandwich) is together with the other famous ‘pane ca’ meusa’ (the spleen sandwich), the most distinctive and representative street food of the Capital of Sicily. Infact if you ask an Italian about it, I am pretty sure he doesn’t know what I am talking about unless he/she has been in Palermo on holiday. If you ask a Sicilian (from another part) he would probably shrug his shoulder too.
|Panelle and potato croquettes
To make this gorgeous recipe perfect, let’s add a pinch of history first: the Arabs that dominated our island, from the 9th to the 11th century, started to grind the seeds of the chickpeas. The result was flour that, mixed to water and cooked in a pan on a heat, gave a kind of raw dough, that wasn’t particularly tasty. After experimenting they found out that the same dough, cut in thin slices and fried in oil, was delicious and had an inviting golden color, so little by little, it became very popular.
That’s how this amazing food was born. And the love-story between panelle and the city of Palermo lasts ever since.
3. Place the dough on a marble surface previously oiled (or on an oiled oven tray) and flatten it with a spoon or a spatula. Once it has cooled down, with a knife, make some rectangles.
4. Pour some olive oil in a pan on a high heat to start frying our panelle on both sides until golden. It takes few minutes so be careful!
5. Place them on some kitchen paper to absorb the exceeding oil and add a pinch of salt.
6. Serve immediately while still hot, together with our little rounded panini.