A catastrophic error

Catastrophic Error

This post was written by Pecora Nera, one of my favourite bloggers also famous for managing to  convince a Sicilian expat to 1) marry an Englishman 2) move back to Sicily. You can read more of his hilarious posts at englishmaninitaly.org.


There are times in life when we all make catastrophic errors that we will remember for the rest of our lives. Because Mrs S is very sensible she has made very few earth shattering mistakes. Maybe marrying a crazy Englishman might be one of them. They have happened and under duress and after I promised not to tell anyone, she told me the following story.

When Miss Sensible left Sicily and emigrated to the United Kingdom, there were one or two things that she really missed. She missed the sunshine, her family and living near to the sea. She also missed Italian food and in particular arancine.

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Arancine, a speciality from Sicily. Photo by Francesco Zala.

Arancine are stuffed rice balls filled with ragu, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. They are to die for, first you bite through the fried breadcrumbs, which contrasts with the soft rice and then the wonderful ragu fills your mouth with flavour. They might not be quite as good as a bacon sandwich with a hot mug of tea, but to a Sicilian who is living in rainy Sheffield, they are the comfort food they miss.

One day Miss Sensible, was with friends from her church, they were having a bring and share. Miss Sensible took a cake to share. Imagine her surprise when she saw that somebody had brought arancine! All thoughts of eating cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off were extinguished from her mind, she gravitated over to the arancine and reverently picked one up.

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Cucumber sandwiches, an English speciality. Photo by I Believe I Can Fry

Remembering her previous life in Sicily, she slowly bit into the delicious morsel and as she savoured the taste she realised something was wrong. The problem was, somebody had seen fit to bring scotch eggs to the meeting of friends and scotch eggs do not contain rice and ragu, they contain hard boiled eggs and sausage meat.

Scotch egg, a speciality from Scotland.
Scotch egg, a speciality from Scotland. Photo by Richard Young.

Miss Sensible now had two problems, the first was there were no arancine to be had and the second was, should Miss Sensible spit or swallow? Now we all know in polite circles good girls don’t so Miss Sensible swallowed the devilish mouthful of scotch egg.

Swallow or spit?
Swallow or spit?

Now this story was told to me in complete confidence, so no reblogging this post or spreading rumours that Mrs Sensible made a mistake.

13 thoughts on “A catastrophic error

    1. Thank YOU for your letting people around the world know the difference between a scotch egg and an arancina. The world is a safer place now 🙂

  1. I hate to say this because it has happened to me and even when I am alone trying the treat I swallow what I bit and secretly hid the rest in napkin to be tossed later. Always take small first bites of unknown food just to minimize this problem is my motto. If it turns out it is something I am allergic to and did not realize it was part of the dish I have no choice but to nicely put it into the napkin and I say oh no this contains peanuts or coconut and I then say something to try and minimize any possible hurt feelings like “had it not been for that I bet it would have been delicious, I wish I could have tried it”.

      1. You do not eat tripe? You do not know what you are missing. I cooked some yesterday and it was delicious! 🙂 I will have to look out for arancine as they seem delicious. They also look a bit like samosas?

  2. Ha ha haaaaa!
    I once handed my hubby a scotch egg deliberately misinforming him it was an “English Arancina”
    Aren’t I cruel?
    Except that he loved it. He has demanded them every time we go to England ever since!!!
    He also thumps his fist on the table demanding friend breakfast, he steals the shortbread and PG Tips teabags that my sister has airlifted in and he once even dared to finish the sacred jar of Branston Pickle.
    So I think you should be grateful that Mrs Sensible will leave all these delicacies entirely for you.

    1. Ciao Veronica
      We have run out of bacon, branston pickle and piccallili so it must be time for a trip back to blighty.

      You are a bigger black sheep than me!!! I wouldn’t dream of deliberately poisoning Mrs S with a scotch egg. 😉

    1. Hi Yvonne
      Secret Sicily searched for the fab photos. I just whispered the story to her.

      Dainty cucumber sandwiches are pretty good when an aunt is coming to tea, or so I am told

  3. About the photos… sorry that the poor cucumber sandwich is looking so poor as compared to the other specialities… it was the only creative common photo I could find. We all know how yummy the glorious sandwich looks in real life, right? (mhuhahahaha!).

  4. Arancine! Oh god, how I love arancine… I discovered them a few years ago in Little Italy, here in Montreal and my life has never been the same.

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