This spring marks a true end of an era. The Italian Kitchen in Lawrence, MA closes its doors after over 50 years in business. Owner Peter Messina earned his claim to fame cranking out his two menu items by the dozen during the Italian Feast season in Lawrence. While Messina served some of the most delicious arancini (rice balls) in the area, his true claim to fame was the Crispelli. A crispelli is an Italian fried dough originating in Sicily. There were three varieties of crispelli offered by the Italian Kitchen. Customers could order a fried dough stuffed with ricotta cheese, anchovies, or plain and rolled in confectioners sugar. Crispelli have stood the test of time and remained a favorite of locals in the area for generations. During their final weekend in business, devoted followers waiting an average of two hours and ordered the deep fried delicacies by the dozen. The neighboring North End Deli was advertising that they would soon be replicating the Italian Kitchen staple, and I’m sure we will be reviewing these for you in the near future 🙂 Rumors were flying in the crispelli line that owner Peter Messina was offering to sell the recipe for $65,000. Regardless of the validity of such claims, the Merrimack Valley staple will certainly be missed by many.