I've written before about odd things Italians eat, but this takes the cake...er... spleen, that is. In Italian, this sandwich is called Panini con la Milza--in Napoletano dialect it's Pani Cà Meusa. Many claim this street food from Palermo in Naples is delicious. I mean, I don't know about you, but I've never been one to clamor for organ meats. My Dad would have loved this. I still remember the stink... er... smell... of Dad frying up liver, onions and peppers for his dinner. Once in a while, he'd add some heart.
Many people love the old world, earthy flavors of sweetbreads (pancreas), liver, heart, brains and other organ meats. If you're one of them, the next time you're in Palermo, look for a vendor selling this Panino. It starts with a sesame seed roll. Next, veal (poor baby cow) lung... yes, lung... and spleen are fried in lard. Put the cooked organ meat into the bread and top it with grated caciocavallo. A Philly Steak this ain't. Ok... can I have a Pani Cà Meusa, hold the spleen, hold the lung with extra caciocavallo? (Shades of Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces).
It's primarily found on the streets of Palermo but you can also get yours at Pani Cà Muesa, a local lunch joint across from the marina. They are also known for various other fritters and croquettes in case your not into organ meats.
As for me, I dunno... sitting watching sailboat masts rocking and rolling in the harbor while eating spleen and lung...er... uh... (gulp)... Gotta go!
--Jerry Finzi (the guy with a fairly narrow palette)
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