While strolling around in any place in the world, street food is almost always my main source of livelihood, together with beer. Sitting in a restaurant is generally something that I hardly do once a day, and maybe that’s among the main reasons why I can afford travelling quite a lot, despite being a free lance Italian woman (some other reasons: I live in South Italy, I love my job, I am a veg, not fashion addicted, good wine is my answer to medicines and psychologists…).
So, I would like to make my personal list of the top6 best street food I’ve tasted. Even if I’ve never been to Southeast Asia, where street food is so rooted in local culture, I’ve made my partial selection among the 22 countries of the world I’ve visited up to now.
6 – One of the more recent is the roasted corn on the cob in Belgrade.
If you don’t mind the conditions of hygiene and the pieces of corn stuck on the teeth for … ever, it is very tasty and satisfying. And I loved its smell as well. It smells like summer, to me. The ‘cobs rosters’ are mostly part of the working class returned back to Serbia after years working abroad (many of them speak German). They are often very kind, even if unceremoniously.
5- Glögg, on Saint Lucy’s day in Stockolm – or in Sweden in general.
For us wandering veg, Sweden doesn’t offer so much. And since I love drinking more than eating, it was predictable that in my three days of celebrations of Saint Lucy in Stockholm, with a freezing cold, this drink sold at every street corner would cover 40% of my daily energy requirement. It is a drink made of wine (usually red), with cinnamon and other spices.
4 – Pastizzi of Malta.
They were my constant companions for 3 months. In my daily bus route from Birkirkara to Sliema, starving, I used to eat these baked wrap, stuffed with cheese and peas cream. You can find them in all bakers and food cloister, no matter which city of the Island.
3 – Food market in Dublin. We all know about Temple bar for night life and music. Yet here, every Saturday morning, there is one of the largest and most beautiful food market in Europe. Vegetarians will come out happy, as omnivores. Traders are mainly family farms that produce and sell. Here I had a savory crepe with grilled vegetables and spices, sitting on the most comfortable sidewalk of my life.
2 – Sandwiches in Nice
The poshy and charming Cote D’Azur is not that costy as most people think. Or, better, you can enjoy a very poshy week end as you can have an amazing budget stay. If it weren’t so, I wouldn’t have gone there three times.
One of the most tasty food I had here – and, let me say, in South France they really know what cooking/eating means – was… a sandwich bought, on the fly, in the little bar along my way to the station of Nice, risking to miss the train.
Inside, dried tomatoes, spicy cheese and lavender. It was the simplest and cheapest they had.
1 – Sgagliozze, Bari
Don’t ask me where the hell this name comes from. I just know that I’ve been travelling all around the world and then I found the very best street food just 1 hour away from my city. Sgagliozze are but fried slices of polenta, served in the narrow streets of the old area of Bari by the local ladies, who cook them in their ground floor-always-open-house. The celebration of San Nicola (7 – 10 May) is the right occasion to taste it.
Special – not veg – suggestion:
Now, if I wasn’t vegetarian, I’d mention the only thing that, for once, made me wish I didn’t make this choice. I’m talking about having some fried fish and cold white wine in Torre Mozza in Puglia (in the southern area, Salento). They make an serve it so close to the sea that you can go there barefoot, in swimsuit after a Sea&sun bath.
Special guest – the queen
In the cover picture you can see the Pittule (street food of all local festivals of Salento). Pittula is the queen, but maybe this opinion is led by parochialism and my life memories. That’s why I didn’t put them into the list.