This article original appeared in Saveur.
If you walk down the streets of Palermo, you’ll smell and taste something a little bolder than the flavors that Sicily, the Mediterranean’s largest island, is usually known for. Alongside the wild fennel, icy crystals of granita, and tomatoes so red they break your heart is a street food scene alive with almost brutish intensity: spleen, mixed offal, snails, octopus, and grilled intestines.
Squeamish? Don’t be. Sicily is home to one of the world’s most distinctive and delicious street food cultures, built on layers of foreign influences and powerful flavors from centuries of exchange with (and occupation by) Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Normans. It’s original cooking you won’t find anywhere else, and the street cooks here turn humble ingredients like chickpeas and organ meat into something destination-worthy.