A temple of gluttony
The Mangia family has been setting high standards for Sicilian cuisine for more than six decades. Gigi Mangia’s father, Rino, established a small delicatessen in Palermo in 1943.
While most other food shops in the city were offering a small selection of local salamis and cheeses, Mangia’s shelves were stacked with olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world, a selection of truffles and escargots, as well as the finest prosciutto and parmesan from Italy. “It was the best store for food in Palermo,” says Gianni Riotta, who recalls being allowed to go to Mangia only on special occasions. “My father would say, ‘if you want the fanciest of the fancy, go to Mangia’. It was a temple of gluttony.”
Mangia senior also cooked food for his customers, a tradition which his son continued when he opened his own restaurant in 1989 on Via Principe di Belmonte, just around the corner from the delicatessen that finally closed its doors in 2007 after the city dramatically increased the rent.
More Italian food and drink dynasties:
1: Bertani Founded by two brothers in 1857. Famous for its red Amarone wine
2: Graziano Cacciali One of only 12 family-run producers of Culatello ham
3: Villa Zottopera The groves where the Rosso family harvest the olives for their oil date back 2,000 years