Il Panelle è tornato a pranzo! I considered writing this whole blog in Italian but I’ll spare you (and myself) the trouble. Anyway, our Sicilian inspired sandwich is back, as of June 29. It’ll be around for as long as fennel is at its peak.
We had no idea what the word Panelle meant when a customer first told us about it. He had grown up in Sicily, the triangular island south of mainland Italy. His mom would make a snack for him after school – panelle! Crispy on the outside, creamy and custardy on the inside.
We thought it would be fun to try our own version. So we started playing with recipes. Our version has homemade pita bread, lemony mayo, fried panelle (think polenta but made with chickpeas), and a salad made with olives, citrus, and fennel.
Of course, we couldn’t stop there…
That’s me and Ethan (creator of the Clover app) hopping a plane from Rome to Calabria, where an industrial ferry awaited us to take us to the windy port of Catania. Then it was on to Palermo, to taste Panelle in its home turf.
These fried chickpea snacks were everywhere in Sicily, nestled into sesame buns, from fancy restaurants to street corner stands. And still, after all that panelle, we eagerly came back to Clover and ordered another (which you can too, today!)
PS: Did you grow up eating a food item you think we should try? We’re all ears (and mouths). Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about a food memory we should turn into the next Panelle.