An ode to Arancini
I love Arancini
I can eat Arancini
‘Cos I’m fat and greedy
OK, not so very good. But certain editors and reviewers have complained that I’m being too negative about Sicily so I’m trying to prove that not everything in Sicily is bad. It’s not that I’m negative, it’s just that the things that get me going aren’t usually good things.
So here’s some good things about Sicily;
1. A’Mio. She’s Sicilian, so that saves an entire island from being assigned to the “not a very nice place” category.
2. Arancini – it’s too hot to eat ’em now, but a good arancini is… yum yum.
3. The weather – the heat doesn’t bother me too much, (the humidity’s a bitch, mind) and it has rained in Ireland every day for 45 days. Wish you were here???
4. Sweets – the range of sweets and pastries is fantastic. Even excluding the ones with ricotta, which I’m not too fond of, and cream, which I avoid for health reasons, there’s lots of yummy things to eat in the most unlikely of shops.
5. The fact that everywhere I go, I generally get recognised as “That girl’s foreign fidelenzato” so I get a friendly “Caio!”. The girls in the supermarket know not to ask me for the loyalty card ‘cos or confuse me with big words. The blokes on the fruit and veg section know that I generally only want 1 or 2 onions, and that when I buy 12 oranges, it’s for juicing. The guy in the meat counter knows that I want the beef in a big chunk so I can slice the right size steaks (they cut them too thin). The guy in the cafe knows to tell me about the pasta first, and that I don’t like fish or cheese, and that when I order 3 coffees to go, I want them in the little plastic cups, instead of a bottle (‘cos The Sister thinks the bottles aren’t washed out properly and make the coffee taste disgusting – naturally I can’t notice the difference).
6. The fact that I don’t have to make smart conversation to get respect. In fact, Sicilian men generally get by with significant looks, meaningful gestures and facial expressions, and the odd “Tsk”, which means ‘no’ in Sicilian. Talking too much is the sign of a bullshitter. So I can disguise myself as a Sicilian by muttering “tsk” when the waiter asks if we want some caffés to finish.
Allora, I hope that I don’t give the impression that Sicily sucks, ‘cos Sicily is in fact a pretty great place. Probably a lot better than, say, Brussells. The food is better, for one thing. And BBC’s Mark Mardell agrees.