Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.
With all this talk about wieners, I had an overwhelming urge to bite into some balls, so I high-tailed it over to G & S Pork Store at 2611 Avenue U to get some prosciutto balls.
This is more than a bit upsetting. I just realized that my introduction to Italian balls was at the hands of a little Italian grandmother when I first moved to Sheepshead Bay. Nona introduced me to Struffoli, arancini, suppli and she introduced me to the “bro-jhoot” ball. I guess I’d be more upset if I was introduced to Italian balls by an Italian grandfather! Ah, memories.
Some say Italian cuisine is the best in the world. These Italian fritters, along with their cousins, arancini (Sicilian rice balls, stuffed with meaty ragù) and supplì (Roman rice-and-cheese croquettes), certainly lend themselves to the argument. This is true comfort food. Cheap, tasty, filling and satisfying.
These slightly miss-shaped golden balls are about the size of a golf ball. Covered in seasoned bread crumbs, they are masterfully deep fried to an amazing grease-less finish. G & S serves the balls cold and are only meant for eating off-site.
Getting my balls home, I placed two of them in the microwave for 30 seconds. Gingerly taking each warm ball in my hand, I bit through the outer crust, and encountered a wondrous medley of velvety melted cheeses and spices punctuated by the meaty, salty and chewy cubes of prosciutto. Ricotta cheese dominates, followed quickly by mozzarella and something a little sharper, probably provolone, asserts itself as well. But the real star is the prosciutto. Meaty, siky and just chewy enough, the prosciutto anchors the cheeses and “pops” of flavor.
Eddie, the head man at G & S, makes some of the most flavorful balls in the hood. His balls are basically the best mini-calzone I’ve ever had. But, unlike a calzone, there’s no tough pizza dough crust to fight with. These balls yield to the slightest pressure, releasing their gooey goodness directly in your mouth. Be careful when heating them in the microwave. Heat them slowly or they will explode.
Prosciutto Balls ($1 each) are available year round at G & S Pork store and in Italian markets throughout Brooklyn. Pop some balls in your mouth today!
G & S Pork Store, 2611 Avenue U, (718) 646-9111.