Arancini – Not Just Another Ball

I first came across aranchini (also known as arancine) over this past summer and didn’t think much about it. It just looked like a ball of rice, but it’s actually more complex than that. Aranchini is Italian for “little orange”, which is what these little bite-sized croquettes looks like. What typically gives these little balls that orangey hue is saffron, one of the most expensive spices out there. However, I think many just stick to using plain old breadcrumbs so it has lost its orangeness over time.

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Aranchini balls are crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. It’s made with risotto stuffed with plenty of gooey cheese and can have both meat and/or vegetables too. These ingredients are then rolled together into a ball, breaded and either deep fried or baked to make this petite morsel of food. It’s quite popular at bars in Sicily, but some restaurants serve them as appetizers too. Although I had mine cold and didn’t enjoy it as much, I’m sure if it was hot out of the fryer (or oven), it would’ve made all the difference.

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