What are the crocche` or cazzilli?
They are potato croquettes typically an oval and elongated shape, seasoned with parsley. they are cooked in a couple of minutes in abundant of hot oil and are eaten immediately.
They must be eaten hot and crunchy, don’t let them cool down because they lose the satisfying crunch of the shell that counteracts with the softness found inside.
Nowadays street food in Palermo has become a real fashion show. Vendors buy these high end fryers trying to dazzle the pedestrians. Usually, all the tourists flock around these vendors so they can taste world famous Sicilian street food.
What I recommend – and I also wrote it when I talked to you about fried calamari – don’t stop at the first vendor you see on the main streets, not saying that the food wouldn’t be good, but you would miss getting to see the spectacular historic center of the city made up of some wonderful architecture that encompasses the entire history of Palermo.
Every time I go to Palermo I stop to go eat the cazzilli together with the panelle or the “paninu ca meusa” in a fry shop on the corner between Piazza indipendenza and Corso Calatafimi.
Or in the famous Antica Focacceria of San Francesco, in a side street of Corso Vittorio Emanuele, which despite its world-wide fame has kept its classic street food characteristic. Then there is the food trucks found inside the Vucciria Market that sell the ”rascatura” ( they are similar to the cazzilli but they are nothing more than the scraps of dei cazzilli and panelle in the kitchen) with the cazzilli.
Cazzilli or Crocche`-Sicilian Street Food
- 1 kg potatoes 35.3 oz
- chopped parsley
- chopped mint
- salt and pepper
- Wash the potatoes well, put them in a large pot, fill with lightly salted cold water.
- Drain the potatoes and let them cool completely, then peel and mash them (I used the passatutto tomato mill), obtaining a very fine purée without lumps.
- Season the purée with a generous pinch of salt, fresh ground pepper (optional), chopped parsley and mint, then mix well all the ingredients.
- Grease your hands with a little olive oil and take some dough one at a time, making
oval cylinders the size of your thumb.
- Fry them in plenty of hot oil, a few at a time, making sure they do not stick
together, when they are golden, go out with a slotted spoon and dry the excess oil
on absorbent paper.