So a few weeks back, I went to Boston with my mom to help move Naomi into her dorm at Emerson. At first, I was overwhelmed by the sheer size and scope of the city and pretty much decided that I’d never be able to handle living in a city that big. After a few days of exploring the city and subway system, however, I pretty much owned the city.
We picked a great time to go, as the North End of Boston (aka where to find all the delicious, authentic italian food in Boston) was holding the The Feast of Saint Anthony. There was a huge religious aspect of it–mass, prayers, devotions, singing, hanging aprons made of dollar bills around a statue’s neck–you know, the usual Catholic stuff.
I was drawn to the Feast not for the religious aspect, (shocker) but for the numerous food stands offering delicious italian fare. Below is a list what we feasted on at the festival.
Arancini (rice balls)
We got one from an un-named vendor at the Thacher Street entrance of the feast. It was about the size of a softball, maybe a little bigger. They were making them homemade right at the feast, so I know we were getting fresh, delicious, homemade food, nothing pre-frozen or manufactured. You could get them stuffed with either spinach and cheese or meat and peas, and topped with gravy (aka marinara sauce). We split a meat-and-peas-stuffed rice ball between the 4 of us, and still had some leftover. It was amazing. The gravy was clearly homemade and better than any red sauce I’ve ever gotten anywhere in the south. My mom kept saying that it tasted like her grandmother’s spaghetti sauce, and then she got this far away look in her eyes.
I don’t even know how to describe the consistency of the gnocchi that we got at the fair, but I loved it. It wasn’t quite firm, but it wasn’t soft either. I think it was made with ricotta, but it’s hard to say. All I know is we pretty much inhaled it.
Real Italian Meatballs
This is where Tina and I got into a bit of a tiff. I thought the meatball we got at the feast (which was about the size of a baseball) was the best I’ve ever eaten. She claims hers are the best and got all offended when I suggested otherwise. Some people just can’t take criticism.