I like to take as much of the good stuff home with me as possible and below are the salumerias (delicatessans) and other grocery shops where I procured my purchases. You’ll find everywhere mentioned on my map.
Pizzo e Pizzo, 1 Via XII Gennaio, www.facebook.com/pizzoepizzo
Pizzo e Pizzo is the best salumeria in Palermo, as recommended to me by Vincenzo, a Palermitan wine importer based in my hometown. It’s the same place that I had my last meal before flying home (post here).
I did a lot of my take home shopping here, if fact I bought so much that I had to buy an extra suitcase (only €20) in the Ballarò market! My main purchases included large slabs of Pecorino Siciliano and Caciocavallo Ragusano from the Ragusa DOP. Also a whole piece of Guanciale (pork cheek), a jar of Peperoncino by Sarubbi in Calabria and a bottle of Colatura di Alice (a fermented sardine condiment descended from Garum) from Delfino Battista in Cetara. You can try the cheese and ham before you buy by having lunch in the deli, or in the restaurant next door as I did.
I also got some wonderful red garlic from Nubia (in Trapani province) which was some of the best I’ve ever had with shiny firm cloves and an intense flavour. The co-op’s web page is here.
Gastronomia Armetta Bottega, 6 Via dei Quartieri, www.instagram.com/gastronomia_armetta_dal_1926/
This friendly little salumeria is a little out of the centre, but worth the trip, especially if you combine it with lunching on their wares. There’s only one table though so book well ahead. Opened in 1926, they are one of the oldest shops in Palermo.
I was particularly smitten with their sun-dried tomato paste which was beautifully displayed.
I also got some Busiate pasta, a type of long curly macaroni, originally from the Trapani province, but now typical in all of Sicily and Calabria. It takes its name from busa, the Sicilian word for the stem of a local grass, around which the pasta was wound to give it it’s helical shape and are most famously used in the local dish Busiate con Pesto alla Trapanese.
Salumeria Filippo, 219 Via Mariano Stabile, www.facebook.com
Back in 2010 this small salumeria was described as “the best” by the local International House rep and there are indeed lots of top quality goodies to be had. On both my visits I found him to be quite brusque at first, but he lightens up if you work on him and show some knowledge.
I brought back several kinds of oil. The most eye-catching, but not necessarily the best kinds, come in these attractive canisters, decorated in typical bright Sicilian colours.
However the best evoo I had (as served to me at Michelin restaurant Bye Bye Blues, see coming post) was Lorenzo No1 by Barbera in the Valli Trapanesi DOP. Non of the salumerias had it however, but I finally managed to get it at the airport.
Another essential purchase in my opinion is a bottle of blood orange orange bitters, my favourite being Amaro Amara, from Misterbianco near Catania, which won ‘world’s best digestive’ at the 2022 World Liqueur Awards. Again I found it quite difficult to find but finally tracked down a large bottle at Supermercato Marotta at Via Cesare Battisti in the Mercato di Ballarò.
One thing I couldn’t track down however was a bottle of Crema di Pistacchio, pistachio liqueuer aka pistachino, which I’ve been told is dangerously delicious. I found a rosolio but it wasn’t quite what I hoped for.
In the markets I loaded up on more bags of peperoncino, bunches of dried oregano and several bars of delicious cold-pressed Cioccolato di Modica. Smile nicely and the vendors may well give you ‘un assaggio’ (a taste). Along with my purchases from Favignana (see coming post), this all made for quite a haul!
Off to the beach in Mondello next!