Arancini are probably the most famous fried dish in Sicily. Arancini (singular arancino) are balls of rice filled most often with a meat mixture and fried in oil. There are a huge number of arancini variations, and you can taste fillings made from chicken, fish, mushrooms, cheeses, and of course, there are also sweet arancini. Arancini are most often eaten hot, immediately after frying. However, they can also be consumed cold.
The history of arancini is long and may date back to 1226, when a food resembling an orange was described – both in shape and size, as well as appearance. In Sicily, you can find both round arancini and cone-shaped arancini, which are more common in the east. Both sides, of course, argue about which arancini are the “true and original” ones. The conical variant of arancini is supposed to resemble Mount Etna in the east of Sicily, and in the past, the peak of the cone was even cut off so that the arancini would cool down faster – the steam rising upwards after cutting was supposed to represent the smoke from the volcano.
I like arancini with cheese the most, like this one – it is filled with friarielli vegetables, which are similar to broccoli, salsiccia sausage, and smoked scamorza cheese.
In Palermo, you won’t go wrong if you taste arancini at Bistro ke Palle, which specializes in these fried rice balls. Their offer is wide, but because they make several rice balls at once, unfortunately, some may not be available. Arancini here cost about 3.5 EUR per piece.
Bistro ke Palle is located on Via Maqueda, the main gastronomic street in Palermo. The bistro is small inside, but outside on the street, you will find several tables with chairs where you can comfortably sit. And just behind Bistro ke Palle is a restaurant that I was absolutely thrilled with Al Vecchio Club Rosanero restaurant, be sure not to miss it during your wanderings in Palermo.
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