April 5, 2018
Walked through the huge Mercato Ballarò market today. Vendors loudly barking (abbanniate) their wares. Scooters inch through the crowds viewing the colorful booths, cars struggle through intersections, almost nudging the pedestrian traffic. A few restaurants pass out fliers but we had great street food, lunch for 2 for 6 euros, eggplant pasta with a tomato ricotta sauce and an arancini (rice ball). A woman next to us ordered a panelle on bread – they really do eat those here. Panelle is made of ceci (garbanzo) flour. Sounds Arabic in origin- falafel for example is made from the same flour.
This oldest Palermo market goes from Piazza Casa Professa to near Corso Tukory. They sell much of the local fruit production- oranges (ugly but tasty), artichokes, rapini and more. It looks like a mass of crowded stalls and with the road invaded by wooden boxes that contain the goods that are constantly shouted, abandoned, chanted to advertise the good quality and good price of the products. There is some meat but much seafood.
A fun place to visit, a great place to shop!
There is much confusion about a vegetable called rapini, brocoli rab, and brocoletti. Brocoletti was developed in Japan as a combination of kale and brocoli. It is officially called brocolini. Rapini aka brocoli rab has buds that resemble brocoli. Compared to brocoletti the buds are small and the stalks much more slender. Rapini is what they sell in southern Italy. Taste wise they seem very close to me, and I will take either one! Mixed with sausage, garlic and olive all it is a great contorno! We bought some and cooked it up!