Sunday, May 6

street food

On the beach this weekend a little huddle of stalls sprang up out of nowhere and a street food festival was born. Street food? My mind drifted away from the beach and over to England, to Camden Market to be precise. I remembered the tantalising aromas wafting through the crowds, thai noodles, curries, greek kebabs, burgers and sweet and sour stir-fry. What classified as Italian street food? I wandered around the stalls to have a look.

The sicilians speciality was the cannolo. A crisp hollow fried pastry shell is filled with a smooth cream made from ricotta, sugar and chocolate chips. Skye edged nearer the stand and was eventually rewarded with a freshly filled mini cannolo. I knew I could get one too if I tried, so I batted my eyelashes at the chef and said, "you know, the one time I went to Sicily I brought back 36 cannoli for the people I worked with and they ate them all so fast that I never had time to even try one!" I was swiftly handed two of the delicious little pastries.

Moving on I found a traditional Neoplitan stand displaying o'musso e'puorco which translates as 'muzzle of pig'. Sounds tempting right? Of course in typical Italian fashion it is not that simple though. It is actually the head of a cow, skinned, chopped up and boiled. You can squeeze some lemon on it for extra yum factor. I moved on swiftly, not batting my eyelids at anyone.

Another local stand displayed arancini di riso, balls of sticky rice with a centre filled with mincemeat and melting mozzarella, and fried pizza. Just as I was about to lose hope of finding something less Italian I heard an extremely loud, unmistakeable wailing sound. I peered around the corner and came face to face with two men in tartan kilts puffing away on a pair of bagpipes. I looked at the stand next to them and smiled, "Fish and Chips". So as the sun set on the beach I sat on a deckchair eating traditional British fish and chips with vinegar and ketchup, listening to the bagpipes play behind me.

16 comments:

  1. It has been ages since I've had cannoli. I must figure out a way to get my hands on some soon.

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  2. Cannoli are a very popular dessert item in Boston (US) were I live. We have a very large Italian section, and cannoli are everywhere. I love them. LOVE THEM.

    But I could skip the cow's head!

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  3. Oh i would love to try a cannoli -
    i am going to see if i can make it!

    fish and chips are the best -
    i used to get them after school
    when i lived in Devon and they
    came wrapped in wax and then
    newspaper...(sigh)

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  4. You could have fedex'd me over o'musso e'puorco. Don't worry, I would have picked up the tab. Did you ever have cotica (a' cotena) in a nice ragu? To die for.

    State bon e slautamme a Positano.

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  5. YUM - it all looks good. except maybe the cow's head. I don't think there is enough lemon in the world to make me eat that.

    hehe

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  6. The picture looks like squid and not cow to me. Do they look the same? The picture of the bagpipers has a great view of Positano!

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  7. I guess those were meant to be Scottish fish and chips. Bagpipers, little scottish flags on the stall...

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  8. if i had to name this post i would be torn between: the world's are merging; niki gets nostalgia; eye batting always works...

    i want cannolis!!!!!!

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  9. Nicki,
    it's not cow, it's a pig head (I am nauseauos just at the idea...)
    and you missed a lot of other yummy stands though.
    L'arrosticino (a lovely lamb kebab) and the bratwurst (it was Y.U.M.M.Y.) and the mixed fry from Puglia (also very good)...and what about the wines? They were really awesome.
    Cannoli were OK but not the best.
    For all you guys craving cannoli you can order them online from many bakeries in Sicily, I know this one: www.savia.it a reliable very old and very good one.
    PS I was disappointed by fish and chips btu I had never tried it before, what did you think?

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  10. The fish n chips sounds yummy, yummy, yummy. You must have felt right at home!

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  11. Yay! for the little taste of home.

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  12. Oh yum, muzzle of pig! You lost me on muzzle of cow though. I mean really, who eats that stuff???? hehehehehe!

    Cyn

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  13. I would have passed on the head of cow/pig as well.

    Cannoli are huge in the New York/New Jersey area. I don't see them too much out here.

    one of the best lines in the Godfather:
    "leave the gun, take the canolli"

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  14. Dollyna, Carlo said it was cows head, and althought there were a couple of pig trotters on the tray that definately looks like a cows nose to me, not a pigs. I agree with you on the fish n chips though...the chips were a bit soggy!
    Cyn...really, you like pig noses to eat?

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  15. Soggy chips are only nice when they're soggy because of the amount of vinegar put on them haha! I think that when I move abroad (eventually!), fish and chips are one of the things that I will miss!

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  16. Cannoli in the USA are sweeter in the USA. A far cry from those in Italy.

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