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Classical Arancine
Arancine from Ragusa zone (South-Eastern Sicily)

Arancini or arancine are fried (or, less commonly, baked) rice balls coated with breadcrumbs, said to have originated in Sicily in the 10th century.[1] Arancini are usually filled with ragù (meat sauce), tomato sauce, mozzarella, and/or peas.

The main type of arancino sold in Sicilian cafes are arancini con ragù, which typically consist of meat, peas, rice and mozzarella. Many cafes also offer arancini con burro (arancini with butter), or specialty arancini, such as arancini con funghi (mushrooms) and arancini con melanzane (eggplant).

The name derives from the food's shape and color, which is reminiscent of an orange (the Italian word for orange is arancia, and in Sicilian, arancici means "little oranges"). Arancini is masculine plural, the singular is arancino (or in Sicilian arancinu). In some parts of Sicily, the feminine plural, arancine, is common.[1]

There are a number of local variants that differ in filling and shape.

In Roman cuisine, supplì are similar, but commonly filled with cheese. In Naples, rice balls are called palline di riso.[1]

In popular culture

In Italian literature, Inspector Montalbano, the main character of Andrea Camilleri's novels, is a well-known lover of arancini and he has contributed to making this dish known outside of Italy.


  1. ^ a b c Zeldes, Leah A. (Oct. 21, 2009). "Eat This! Arancini, great balls of flavor from Sicily". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc.. Retrieved Oct. 23, 2009.  

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