My favorite carabiniere came to visit a few days ago. It’s okay to admit you have one too, the kind who you can call in a pinch like when you’re in a teeny fender bender or hand over your cell phone if you need to dissuade a stalker.

I’m lucky, mine is not only able to be menacing when needed, he’s also from Palermo. Which means that every now and then I am taken around on taste test of Palermo’s best, according to the carabiniere. For three years running, my heart belongs to a small panino shop near Piazza Marina that is home to the very best comfort food known to Italy: panelle. A flattened and fried pasta of chick peas, slightly salted with a spritz of lemon. (In Torino and Genova, this pasta is oven baked and called farinata.)

If you can find this spot, good for you. If you can pronounce its name, I owe you panelle.

‘Nni Franco U’ Vastiddaru
via Vittorio Emanuele 102
Palermo
(Piazza Marina)
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