Festa della Stigghiola Palermitana

Some of you may think that the words “goat intestines” and “party” don’t go together.

Stigghiola! Yum Yum!But for those of us in “La Stigghiola Palermitana,” eating roasted goat intestines is the very soul of the party. Yes, stigghiola is a Sicilan dish made by roasting animal innards. It tastes kind of like fried calamari without the crispy crust…

It all began as a Facebook group that our cousin Filippo started. But unlike most lame sauce Facebook groups that don’t actually DO anything, this group has taken getting together from the virtual world to the real world.

Under the wise leadership of the seven board members, including Filippo, the Gran Maestro himself, the group meets regularly to eat, drink and be merry. And, of course, munch on a lil’ goat gut.

Our cousins enjoying their pizzasWhile in Sicily, we were honoured to attend a gathering at a pizzeria just down the street from Nat’s flat. There everyone, including kids as young as 4, ordered a whole pizza per person. And no, they are not small, “personal pizzas.” They are gigantic. It’s a rite of passage for an Italian boy to eat an entire pizza himself.

After the meal, as we sat comatose from the pizza, the room began to fill with smoke. I was about to get worried, when they informed me that they were just heating the brick oven to incredible temperatures for our beloved stigghiola. When it arrived, everyone’s forks and fingers flew to the communal plate. And then the ceremony’s began.

stigghola-award.jpgDonned in hat, cape and badge, Filippo began to award certificates to new members. Dan and I proudly went forward to recieve our “award of merit for having diffusing the tradition of stigghiola in Europe and the world!” I’ll drink to that!