Palermitan pizza

Sfincione (Latin spongia, sponge) is a thick savoury cake that in ancient times replaced bread during the holidays, it looks a lot like pizza. Topped with onions, anchovies, tomato sauce, oregano, breadcrumbs and pieces of caciocavallo cheese. It is available in rectangular pans, mostly in the best delicatessen shops and bakeries, but it is also easily found in a lighter variety, handier for take away and immediate consumption, in the mythical lambrettas or lape of the sfincionaros peddler.


The apecar customized for selling sfincione are real ovens on three wheels, hosting hot plates in their caissons to keep the slices warm and an upper level to slice and dress the cake. Quite always the sfincionaros have a loud speaker on the lapinos that echoes a voice now famous around the city: a recorded tape (the same for many peddlers) that among other things summons people to taste sfincione fresh from the oven, with its irresistible smell: “chi ciavuru! uora u sfurnavu!” (What a delicious smell! I just took it out of the oven!)

(Foto ©Vincenzo Allotta per Crocche.it)