My friends at StrEat Palermo Tour have recently invited me to join one of their awesome street food tours. Obviously, I jumped on the opportunity like an arancina in hot oil! (Alright, terrible metaphor, but let me explain…).
StrEat Palermo is a walking tour that explores the historical food markets in the heart of Palermo. It includes several stops for food and wine tasting from local vendors, lots of history and great company.
As expected, I had a great time and met a lot of cool people with one passion in common; Sicilian street food.
Here’s what happened on the day and the three reasons why you should join the tour.
1.You’ll eat (and drink) like a real Sicilian
As many of you know, I’m a total snob when it comes to touristy experiences. But Marco Romeo – 31 year old founder of StrEat Palermo Tour – totally change my take on walking tours. StrEat Palermo Tour feels more like a nice walk through the city centre with some old friends you’ve just met after a long time. And this is exactly how the idea was conceived; after showing his foreign friends around many times, Marco thought more people deserved to live ‘the real Palermo’ when visiting the city.
So here’s how it works…
At 10.30am we gathered at Massimo Theatre, where Gabriella – our tour guide for the day – started by talking us through the history of this amazing opera house (the third in Europe by size!).
We then walked us across Capo and Vucciria markets, stopping many times to enjoy some great street food, talk to vendors, and learn about local myths and legends. Main highlights included learning how to crack open fresh almonds using your teeth and eating a mixture of calf parts boiled in lard (aka, Frittola).
Possibly one of the best moments for the group was the arancina tasting. The yumminess of these deep fried stuffed rice balls left everyone speechless.
My tour mates soon decided to wear my arancina badges to celebrate the moment.
My favourite moment, you ask? Pane ca meusa, of course! Here’s a picture of me enjoying my beloved spleen sandwich at 3o degrees celsius. YUM!
After more food, drinks and dessert, all the stamps on my foodie passport proved I’ve passed my Sicilian foodie challenge. So did all my brave tour mates!
2. You’ll meet a lot of great people
From solo travellers to long-term couples and adventurous retirees, I had the chance to meet some great people of all ages and from all around the world. We had many ‘bonding’ moments throughout the tour, like the time when each of us tried the Autista – a refreshing but rather ‘explosive’ drink made of tangerine juice, lemon and bicarbonate of soda!
Or that unforgettable moment when they re-opened the Taverna Azzura just for us, so we could enjoy some more glasses of Marsala wine. Ah, the Sicilian hospitality!
3.There is more to it than Palermo’s street food…
If street food is not your thing, or if Palermo is not your destination, StrEat Palermo Tour has now developed more options to help you enjoy Sicily like a real Sicilian. Check out their Stadium Experience and keep your eyes peeled for the release of a new street tour in Catania.
Stay hungry. Stay street food!