Frittola is deponent of two characteristics of the ancient street gastronomy of the city of Palermo: 1) You shall never throw anything away; 2) You shall always trust the sellers blindly, without questioning. Frittola is a very variegated ensemble of calf entrails (slaughterhouse waste, fat, cartilages, bones…) boiled and then browned, often with lard, and then seasoned with scented spices such as laurel, saffron and pepper.
Frittola is usually put inside the “panaru”, a wicker basket covered by a cloth to keep the food warm. The client never sees the frittola until he/ she gets it from the bare hands of the frittolaro, seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon and eaten with or without bread . It is served and consumed inside the “cartata”, a small square of greaseproof paper, put into the bare hand of the client, by the seller, who can eat it directly with his/ her mouth, without even touching it with hands.
For frittola as well as for rascatura, the actual recipe is almost wrapped in secret as each frittolaro can create his variation by mixing spices and other ingredients. One thing is certain: those who eat it will never know exactly what the single items of their dish are, but the mixture gives this dish a unique and irresistible taste.
(Foto ©Vincenzo Puglisi per Crocche.it)