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  • Writer's pictureThe Sicilian Wanderer

The Palermitan "Cuarume:" A Unique Culinary Experience in Palermo.

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Today, we take you on a journey to discover a traditional Sicilian dish that might not be for everyone, but offers an authentic and intriguing culinary experience: the Palermitan Cuarume.

The Palermitan Cuarume, also known as U Cuàtume, is a typical dish of the city of Palermo and its surrounding areas. This unique stew is made using veal offal, such as liver, heart, lung, and spleen, which are meticulously cleaned and cut into pieces.

The offal is then cooked in a sauté of onion, garlic, olive oil, and tomatoes, seasoned with salt, pepper, and sometimes a bit of red wine. Everything is slowly simmered for several hours until the offal becomes tender and the flavor of the sauce intensifies.

The Palermitan Cuarume is usually served with homemade bread, perfect for "mopping up" and savoring every last drop of the cooking sauce. Although it's a very rustic dish with ingredients that might seem unusual, the Palermitan Cuarume is a culinary experience worth trying if you want to taste genuine Sicilian cuisine.

If you are in Palermo or nearby and want to taste the Palermitan Cuarume, we recommend visiting one of the traditional Palermitan trattorias, where you can enjoy this dish in a warm and family-friendly atmosphere. Remember, however, that Cuarume is a unique dish and might not be to everyone's liking. But if you're adventurous and love to try new and authentic flavors, the Palermitan Cuarume is a gastronomic experience not to be missed.

sicilian dishes

Original Recipe for Palermitan Cuarume:


  • 1 kg of veal offal (liver, heart, lung, and spleen)

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil

  • 500 g of peeled tomatoes, chopped

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Homemade bread, for serving


  • Thoroughly clean the veal offal and cut them into similarly sized pieces.

  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until they become translucent.

  • Add the offal to the pot and brown for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Add the chopped tomatoes, salt, and pepper to taste. If desired, add some red wine to further enhance the flavor.

  • Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for at least 2-3 hours, until the offal is tender and the sauce has thickened.

  • Serve the Palermitan Cuarume hot with homemade bread, perfect for mopping up the sauce.

sicilian traditional food

Here's also a list of dishes similar to the Palermitan Cuarume, coming from different Italian regions and other parts of the world. These dishes also use animal offal and are often prepared as stews or sauces.

  • Lampredotto - Tuscany, Italy: A typical dish from Florence that uses cow's stomach, boiled and then served in a sandwich or as a main course.

  • Frittola - Sicily, Italy: A popular dish from Palermo, prepared with slow-cooked pork parts and then fried.

  • Trippa alla Romana - Lazio, Italy: A stew made of tripe (cow's stomach) cooked with tomatoes, mint, Pecorino Romano, and sometimes guanciale.

  • Pajata - Lazio, Italy: A traditional Roman dish made from veal intestines, cooked in a tomato sauce and served with rigatoni.

  • Casoeula - Lombardy, Italy: A Lombard stew made of cabbage and pork meat, including ribs, rind, and other less noble parts.

  • Andouillette - France: A French sausage made with pork offal, usually grilled or pan-fried and served with mustard and potatoes.

  • Haggis - Scotland: A traditional Scottish dish made from sheep offal (heart, liver, and lungs), onion, oats, and spices, cooked inside the animal's stomach.

  • Chitterlings - United States: A southern US dish made from pig intestines, boiled and served with hot sauce or other condiments.

  • Isaw - Philippines: Skewers of chicken offal (intestines), grilled and served with a vinegar and spice-based sauce.

  • Khash - Armenia: A traditional soup made from cow's feet and other less noble parts, cooked for a long time and served with lavash bread, garlic, and other garnishes.

These dishes show how cuisines from around the world use animal offal to create tasty and nutritious dishes, often with cooking techniques similar to those used in the Palermitan Cuarume.


Here are some places in Palermo where you might try the Palermitan Cuarume. Remember that restaurants and trattorias can change over time, so I recommend checking the availability of the dish and opening hours in advance.

  • Trattoria da Salvo: A traditional Sicilian restaurant located in the center of Palermo, known for its homemade dishes and welcoming atmosphere.

  • Antica Focacceria San Francesco: A historic Palermitan focacceria offering a variety of traditional Sicilian dishes, including the Cuarume.

  • Osteria Lo Bianco: A cozy osteria serving typical Sicilian dishes and a selection of local wines.

  • Trattoria A' Vucciria: Located near the famous Vucciria market, this trattoria offers a wide choice of Sicilian dishes, including the Palermitan Cuarume.

  • Al Chiosco Pani ca' Meusa Porta Carbone: An informal kiosk in the heart of Palermo where you can taste bread with meusa, a dish similar to Cuarume made from veal spleen.

Since the Palermitan Cuarume is a traditional dish and not always easy to find in restaurants, I recommend asking local residents or hotel staff for further suggestions on where to find the authentic dish. Also, don't forget to check opening hours and dish availability before heading to any of these places.

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