Crocchè¸ also known as “cazzilli”, are potato croquettes modelied after a traditional oval oblong shape, seasoned with parsley. They are deep fried in the same olive oil along with panelle and rascatura resulting in an irresistible gratin. The heart of the crocchè is prepared with old mashed potatoes and chopped parsley. They can be eaten in the “coppino”, a paper scoop modelled to contain them or in a bread bun, usually together with their cousins panelle.
“Pane, panelle e crocchè” is indeed a sacred triptych for the friggitorias and the lapinos ( three wheel vehicle ) around the city, special ape cars equipped with a gas powered frying cauldron. The deep frying lasts a couple of minutes in plenty of oil and then the crocchè are ready to be eaten with a lot of salt and, sometimes, with a squeeze of lemon.
The variation of milk crocchè is also widespread in Palermo, prepared with a soft heart of milk, flour and cheese instead of the classical potatoes, a dough spiced with nutmeg and/or pepper: a mixture very similar to the filling of the butter arancina, a very dense béchamel sauce. This kind of crocché cannot be found easily on the streets: usually they are sold in bakeries and delicatessens.
(Foto ©Vincenzo Puglisi per Crocche.it)