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Arancino or Arancina? That’s the question!

The Sicilian culinary derby

If you have been to Sicily at least once, you will have had the opportunity to stop at the bar and ask for an “arancino”. If you were near Palermo you must have asked for an “arancina”! Yes…the Sicilian street food specialty has divided the island in two: in Palermo and its surroundings it is called “arancina”, but if you are in Catania you will be served an “arancino”, because the cone of rise breaded and stuffed with meat sauce (in its traditional recipe) is “masculu”, a man!


Accademia della Crusca: arancino but also arancina!

Catania and Palermo have always fought for the origin of this culinary goodness. In western Sicily it has a round shape, reminiscent of that of an orange, and perhaps that’s why the arancina is also intended for feminine. In Catania and its surroundings, however, the arancino has a pointed shape, slightly similar to the shape of Etna. But then, what is the correct name for this timbale of rice, rolled up, breaded, stuffed and fried? The Accademia della Crusca also contributed to this, stating that in fact this product recalls an orange in its shape, and therefore the correct name would be Arancina. But it is also true that in Sicilian dialect this fruit is called “aranciu” so the most correct name would be arancino. Therefore it can be said that both names are correct.

Arancina, with round shape

Arancini: not only with meat sauce

Although the traditional recipe requires that the arancini are stuffed with meat sauce, you can find arancini with different fillings: pistachio, alla norma, salmon, squid ink and even the sweet version stuffed with nutella!
There are also bars where you can find giant arancini, which weigh “only” 400 grams!

A big arancino that weighs 440 gr!
A giant arancino

Do you want to taste an arancino? Contact our partner Sicily Day By Day they will accompany you to the most famous places to taste the best arancino of all Sicily.. or maybe an arancina?!