/Stigghiuole, Palermo Street Food

Stigghiuole, Palermo Street Food


After a satisfying lunch of seasonal vegetable starters and fried fish at Zia Pina near the Vucciria, I set out with my friends Diana and Conchita in search of dessert. Our destination was Cappello, a pastry shop just outside Porta Nuova famous for its setteveli (seven layer chocolate cake). When we arrived, we found the shutters closed and each issued a different but equally heartfelt sigh of despair. Could Cappello be closed on Wednesday? A man cutting wood across the street confirmed our suspicions. We were sad for a minute then realized that when people cut wood by the side of the road in Palermo, they are preparing to grill something delicious. In this case, stigghiuole, lamb intestines.

His stall wouldn’t open for another hour so we had some time to kill. Conchita took us to nearby Pasticceria Massaro, where we passed the time with setteveli, cassata, and custard tarts. After an hour of carbo loading, we were ready for some offal. As we made our way back to the stigghiuole stand, we saw smoke hanging thick over the surrounding area. When we reached the stall, we realized it wasn’t the intestines cooking that was making the smoke, but a lump of fat. The stigghiuolaro explained to us that he cooks the fat as a tactic to attract passersby. It worked. The man is a genius.

We ordered our grilled intestines and he cut them from long links hanging above his chopping block. He then skewered them and threw them on the grill. I asked if I could cook them and permission was granted them with the instruction: girali ogni tanto, turn them every so often. And so I did, allowing a charcoal induced crust to form on either side. Once they were done, the stigghiuolaro pulled them off skewers, cut them into shreds, and plated them. I added some salt, squeezed a bit of lemon, and we dug into what for any other people I know, would not have qualified as a second dessert.

2016-01-09T13:33:02+00:00 November 18th, 2009|Categories: Gastronomic Traditions, Offal, Sicily|6 Comments


  1. shayma November 19, 2009 at 5:37 am - Reply

    mmmmmmmmm. want.

  2. Katie November 19, 2009 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    yeah these were good. a lot like kokorec in turkey. what are grilled lamb intestines called in pakistan? how are they prepared?

  3. shayma November 20, 2009 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    hmm, i know we eat ‘stomach’, it is called ojhri, not sure about intestines, the first time i had them was in rome- the pajata dish in testaccio (checchino, was it?). the ojhri is made as one would expect, w lots of chilies, garlic and tomatoes. it’s a bit tough though, not sure i liked it too much. now you have made me miss pajata immensely, katie!

  4. Katie November 21, 2009 at 4:17 am - Reply

    ok well im trying this stomach you speak of asap. but first, ill eat some pajata on your behalf.

  5. Jersey Shore December 16, 2009 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    […] This is one of the few foods in the world I am truly afraid to eat. I draw the line at dirty intestines. […]

  6. […] meusa in the Ballaro’ Market, a big fat ice cream sandwich at Oriol, setteveil at Cappello, stigghiuole on some filthy streetcorner near the Porta Nuova, everything at Zia Pina in the Vucciria, grilled […]

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