We spent Saturday walking around Palermo. When I say walking..I mean walking. After the day was over and we were comfortably sitting on the train we calculated that we walked for at least 7 hours. Needless to say our legs and feet were aching at the end of the day. Around noon we found ourselves hungry for some walking food. All we wanted was a sandwich. We stopped in at least 5 bars and no sandwiches were to be found, just some sad looking arancini. Peculiar....
We eventually ended up at Spinnato near Politeama. I sort of have a love hate relationship with this place. We've been there a couple times, always at lunch, and it's incredibly busy. Like a lot of fast paced eateries around here you pay first, get a receipt and then attempt to make your way through the crowd hovering around the counter (which is at least 5 people deep during lunch time). The sandwiches, arancini and panelle are good. It's also quite cheap (unless of course you walk by one afternoon, like Scott and I did, and see candied chestnuts in the window calling your name, which are not so cheap). Anyway, everything I've tried here is pretty good...nothing will blow your mind though, it's pretty straightforward stuff. My love hate relationship stems from the insane crowds at the counter, the moment of fear when you think that you will be standing there forever, stuck in Spinnato, clenching your receipt for a panino that it seems you will never get to eat. Know what I'm saying? And on this particular day, we were ravenous, so it really sucked! When the long awaited panino touched my lips I swear it was gone in an instant...and even though it was on the press for at least 10 minutes the center was cold. I didn't care, it was sustenance.
While Scott was waiting in line for the sandwiches I was perusing the dessert cases. I spotted the aforementioned candied chestnuts, but I didn't fall into that trap again. There was something in the case that looked like a cup of ricotta cheese. It looked like a cannoli minus the shell, plus a cup and some more candied fruit. Looked good, but I got side tracked by something else and didn't get it. We left Spinnato and continued on our walking tour.
Throughout the course of the day I noticed these little treat cups in a few different places. I thought, maybe they are a specialty for Christmas? Maybe the whole city misplaced their special tool for rolling cannoli shells? What was going on here and more importantly why didn't I order one?
Flash forward to about 10pm Saturday night. Scott was reading blogs about Palermo and found this one, our new favorite, I Love Palermo. What did we see? An explanation of sorts...apparently Saturday was the feast of Saint Lucia. The little ricotta cups are called "cuccia" and I'm kicking myself for not getting one. Maybe next year?