Once Again, The Sicilian Blood Speaks?

From time to time, I wonder if my ancestral bloodlines really create who I am...and what I crave. After I discovered a potential root for my Moro blood orange passion (it's a variety that was developed in my family's state in Sicily), I'm beginning to think my half-Sicilian blood seems to control much of my appetite.

A month or so ago, my friends Steve and Lara came over for dinner bearing some of the goodies they brought back from their recent trip to Italy. Along with wild boar salami and Pecorino with black truffle from Tuscany (YUM!), they had a jar of bottarga powder (dried mullet or tuna roe) from Sardinia. We made some pasta, sprinkled a bit on...and I was completely hooked. It's kind of crazy stuff. The aroma is almost too fishy, but the flavor--for whatever reason--is completely different: slightly briny, lots of umami.

This weekend, I found myself craving more bottarga. I just couldn't get it out of my mind. So I went to Buon Italia in Chelsea Market and picked up a tiny jar. When a French guy next to me noticed me pondering the purchase, he said, "That stuff is amazing--I ate it all the time growing up in France!" I realized...this was something beyond Sardinia. So, I looked it up.

Apparently, it's big all over the Mediterranean, but especially in Sardinia and Sicily. So, here we go again. Why would I crave something so desperately that I'd only had once?

Is it in my blood?

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