I baked these up for a late snack the other night for a chillaxin' evening of half-paying attention to Intervention on Netflix. I hate that show...so intrusive...but yet somehow interesting enough for background noise...kinda like Storage Wars in that regard...I'm glad we don't have cable...I digress. As I brought out a plate of them to the living room, Sandy exclaimed "Oooooh cheesy and bitey!" Well said, gorgeous. As you can see, I may have overbaked them a little as most of the bites had a little melty cheese cape on them, but meh. Basically, each cheesy ball is comprised of some fontina cheese rolled up with some rice-dough type stuff (with a couple actual grains here and there) with a panko breadcrumb coat. I don't really recall any other instances of having fontina cheese, but it struck me as kinda like parmesan and mozzarella, except better. I'll assume that's about on par, and the cheese melted into every bite. Theoretically, I could've made up some marinara for a side dipping sauce, but we ate them plain as is and every arancini bite was delicious. It is important to note that these are NOT considered vegetarian as there's chicken broth used as flavoring in these, although I didn't really taste that.
I just remembered part of the reason why it took us long to get around to eating these. I kept thinking of and seeing the word "arancini" and twisting around the letters in my head to something like "arachnid" and thinking of these as "arachnid bites." Not that I'm afraid of spiders or anything - you should see some of them at my grandparents' cabin - but ask Peter Parker how that arachnid bite worked out for him. That's something I don't need on my plate right now, figuratively and literally. Plus, my wife is way prettier than Kirsten Dunst, who just looks perpetually hungry to me. Maybe she should stock up on these, too.
Anyways, I'm glad we finally got around to chomping these down. "They're kinda like fried mozzarella sticks, except for grownups, and they're baked, so they're healthier for us then, right? Right?" Sandy asked. Umm, yes. "I don't want to see the box on these," she said. Oh, they're not so bad, darling, but there's a reason I followed these up with an Asian pear for another snack. Trader Joe's Arancini Bites carry some solid spoon power for the two of us. Sandy's going with a four, and I'll up that another half, as, man, I wish I had some of these left right now. Yup, they're that good.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Arancini Bites: 8.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons