Before I get to the serious significance of the December 13 Feast for Santa Lucia, let’s talk about the really serious stuff: that Palermitani celebrate the Saint by eating arancine. Arancine (as they are known in Palermo; Arancini, if you’re from the east side of Sicily), are rice balls filled with either a beef ragu with peas, or butter and prosciutto (both kinds have caciocavallo cheese). Palermitani are serious about their rice balls, and they joyously consume them for Santa Lucia in recognition and remembrance of Sicilians’ answered prayers to the Saint during a wheat famine centuries ago (Which century, we’ll find out in an upcoming post.).
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Is it a sweet dish? And thanks for the tit-bit.
No, these are savory, but chocolate infused ones are starting to become popular. These when fresh and warm, melt in your mouth–after you bite through the outer crust!