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extra-special rice croquettes

The golden spheres that are the emblem of Sicily: orange-sized rice balls (sometimes with saffron) with a meat and vegetable stew at the center, or else tomato and cheese filling, rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. They are similar to the Roman suppli. White arancini are sold in bars, little ones, arancinette, are sold in bakeries and served as antipasti in restaurants.

Arancini have a history; some say they go as far back as the court of that most remarkable King of Sicily and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II.

The Sagra dell’Arancino takes place for two days in early September in Aci Castello, near Catania.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Jeff Allen