Fish balls and snow

15 Mar

The food in Sicilia, and most especially our experience in Tràpani, is amazing. It is perhaps the best part of the trip: that and the people.

I am known by many of you to make a fine Köttbullar or Swedish Meatball. Beef, pork and veal meatballs flavored with nutmeg in an artery-clogging cream gravy.  These are the taste of my childhood.


“Fish balls’ does not do justice to this masterpiece. Better in Italian “Polpette di Sarde in Sugo.”

Normally I would not be one to order the unfortunately named item “fish balls in sauce.” Luckily it sounds better in Italian. We’ve had “fish balls” twice: once made of swordfish (polpette di pesce spade) in Palermo, but of particular note were the ones we ate last night in Tràpani – polpette di sarde in sugo – made with fresh sardines and pine nuts with mint in a rich tomato-based sauce. I wanted to lick the plate clean. I am going to learn how to make these Sicilian wonders. Anyone who is open to my trial-and-error experimentation please raise your hand, you are invited for dinner.

The polpette antipasto and accompanying fish dinner were the highlight of our day Thursday. The weather, in a word, sucks. Cold, rainy, violently windy, impossible to partake in the outdoor activities we came for. We have barely glimpsed the Egadi Islands we came here to hike. We finally drove to Erice despite the clouds and during a rare respite from the rain, but found it too cold to walk around. Bitingly cold. (We didn’t think to bring puffy jackets and gloves on our spring trip to the south.) So we passed the day reading, writing, napping. Not all that bad for vacation but not what we had in mind. Friday presented us with more of the same only worse. The winds are about 40 mph so we hopped in the car hoping to escape the brutal coastal conditions and headed inland a bit, planning on seeing Monreale and a bit of the countryside off the autostrada. Ha! We were greeted with terrible traffic and closed roads due to flooding, and a downpour that turned into sleet and snow. We turned around. More reading time today and maybe more “fish balls” for dinner.

4 Responses to “Fish balls and snow”

  1. Anita March 16, 2013 at 01:31 #

    Strangely enough, that actually sounds good. Wish you were closer so I could raise my hand. 🙂


  2. graciamc March 15, 2013 at 23:57 #

    Bummer weather!☹


  3. Terah March 15, 2013 at 21:50 #

    My hand is raised! Say “Hi” to the Pope when you get home. It sounds like he may be riding the metro with you one day soon. Bless his heart, it’s like being President, WHO would want the job? Stay warm, Bella.


    • gooddayrome March 16, 2013 at 05:48 #

      Wouldn’t it be grand if he could really be out among the people? There was a movie years ago with Tom Conte called “Saving Grace” in wich tome, as the pope, escaped the Vatican and went out among the people “sotto coperto.” Worth hunting down if you can. Ciao mia car’amica! Ti voglio bene!


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