Arancini or arancine are fried (or, less commonly, baked) rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

 balls coated with breadcrumbs, said to have originated in Sicily in the 10th century. Arancine are usually filled with ragù
In Italian cookery, a ragù is a meat-based sauce, which is traditionally served with pasta.Typical Italian ragù include ragù alla bolognese , ragù alla napoletana , and ragù alla Barese...

 (meat sauce), tomato sauce
Tomato sauce
A tomato sauce is any of a very large number of sauces made primarily from tomatoes, usually to be served as part of a dish...

, mozzarella
Mozzarella is an Italian Traditional Speciality Guaranteed food product. The term is used for several kinds of Italian cheeses that are made using spinning and then cutting :...

, and/or pea
A pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the pod fruit Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas. Peapods are botanically a fruit, since they contain seeds developed from the ovary of a flower. However, peas are considered to be a vegetable in cooking...


There are a number of local variants that differ in fillings and shape. The name derives from the food's shape and color, which is reminiscent of an orange
Orange (fruit)
An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus × sinensis and its fruit. It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world....

 (the Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 word for orange is arancia, and arancina means "little orange").

The main type of arancina sold in Sicilian
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 cafes are arancini con ragù, which typically consist of meat in a tomato sauce, rice, and mozzarella. Many cafes also offer arancini con burro (butter), or specialty arancini, such as arancini con funghi (mushrooms), con pistacchi (pistachios), or con melanzane (aubergine).

In Roman cuisine, supplì
Supplì are Italian snacks consisting of a ball of rice with or without tomato sauce and raw egg around a piece of mozzarella; the whole morsel is soaked in egg and coated with breadcrumbs and then fried...

are similar, but commonly filled with cheese. In Naples, rice balls are called palline di riso.

In popular culture

In Italian literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, Inspector Montalbano
Inspector Montalbano
Inspector Salvo Montalbano is a fictional character created by Italian writer Andrea Camilleri in a series of novels and short stories.Set in the picturesque Sicilian town of Vigàta , the fractious detective's character and manner encapsulate much of Sicilian mythology and astute detective work...

, the main character of Andrea Camilleri
Andrea Camilleri
Andrea Camilleri is an Italian writer.-Biography:Originally from Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Camilleri, began studies at the Faculty of Literature in 1944, without concluding them, meanwhile publishing poems and short stories.From 1948 to 1950 Camilleri studied stage and film direction at the Silvio...

's novels, is a well-known lover of arancine and he has contributed to making this dish known outside of Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...


External links

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