The Great Debate of Sicilian Rice Balls

When you cross over from western to eastern Sicily, you’ll see some clear differences. One of the most significant is in the rice balls. Note these pictured. Some are round and the one on the top left is a cone shape, almost like a vulcano (hint, hint).

Can you guess which might be from eastern Sicily? If you guessed the cone, then you are right! Yet, the shape isn’t the only thing that makes these siblings different. They even have different names. Palermo style rice balls are called arancina/e (a feminized version of the word for orange, arancio). Catania style rice balls use the diminutive word for orange, arancino/i with little play on words. Needless to say, the naming convention is a heated debate between the regional cultures, so be aware of what you are eating, where, and its name!

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