November 25, 2012

Messina, Sicily. October, 2012

When we were in Messina a year ago, one of the first things I wanted to do was to try an authentic Sicilian version of the arancini I’d enjoyed for years in Boston’s North End. Mission accomplished. On our return this year, I again made a beeline to the student-filled emporium run by the Famulari brothers. Thirty -- count ’em -- variations available in this joint that my friend Michael has called the Baskin-Robbins of arancini. I opted for #1, the traditional rice ball, filled with tomato-meat sauce, peas and cheese. Michael said he’d go for #6, with a filling of fried eggplant, ricotta, tomato-meat sauce, peas, and dubbed (as is a local pasta/eggplant dish) the Norma, after the opera by native son of nearby Catania, Vincenzo Bellini.

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