Ingredients for making cazzilli and cooked Marlin potatoes


In Sicily, these are one of the common dishes of the cucina popolare — popular food or street food. The cazzilli are fried in vats of hot olive oil and sold in the streets, usually in the evenings; they are wrapped in a little grease proof paper. When cooking these at home, I use a non-stick fry pan and shallow fry them. They can be eaten as a contorno (side dish to accompany the main) or as an antipasto.

Recently, i ate cazzilli at Bar IddaSicilians have a fascination with body parts. Cazzo is slang for penis and the word is most often used as a swear word. Cazzilli are little penises.

Italians boil potatoes whole and unpeeled to prevent them from becoming soggy and then peel them once cool.

potatoes, 700g
garlic, 2 cloves
parsley, ½ cup cut finely
eggs, 2 lightly beaten,
fine breadcrumbs or a little flour, to coat the croquettes
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
salt and freshly ground pepper
Cook the potatoes until soft.
Peel the potatoes when cool enough to handle. Use a ricer or a mouli to mash them (these kitchen implements prevent lumps).
Add the parsley, seasoning and the eggs.
Shape the mixture into egg-shape patties and just before frying roll them in breadcrumbs or flour,
Fry until golden and only turn once.
Drain on absorbent paper.

I made the cazzilli with a new potato on the market called Marlin potatoes. Interestingly  some speculation about their name (Marlin potatoes) and machine guns.

There was a machine gun developed between 1891 and 1895. It was known as a “potato digger” for its peculiar down-swinging arm driven by a gas piston – it has a very powerful action and if fired over the ground it has the ability to lift clods of earth.

There are machine guns developed by the Marlin-Rockwell Company around 1918 called Marlin “potato digger” and several others developed by other companies after this. The name Marlin “potato digger”  was retained.