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3 Marzo 2017

My name is Ode Liis, I am from Estonia and I am currently a volunteer in Palermo. I have been living in Sicily for 2 months so although sometimes I feel like I am well aware of the culture and places, then other times I find myself on a street with no idea how I got there and how to get out. I have seen Palermo and Sicily little by little by doing what I love most: eating. I am a travel foodie so before every trip I make sure I have a list of all the specialties of the region and an iron will to try them all. Same with Sicily.

I love cats as well so here is me with a random street cat

A few things I had gathered on my bucket list were arancina (a deep fried rice ball with various fillings), brioche con gelato (gelato in a brioche bun) and of course, the famous cannolo siciliano. Now arancina is an interesting subject for Sicilians because some regions call it arancino instead of arancina. Everyone thinks their version of the name is correct so no conclusion has been made.

The beautiful arancina

I have heard two versions of the origin of the name. First, the Palermitan version: the word arancina derives from arancia (orange) because of the similar round shape of the fruit and the Sicilian specialty. So since arancia is a feminine word, then arancina, which is also feminine, is correct.
In Catania, they use the word arancino. Now what I heard there is that one guy actually researched this topic and found out that in the history of the culinary world, arancino has been used more frequently to describe this type of food. In addition, in Italian, arancia is orange and arancio is the orange tree but in Sicilian, orange and orange tree have the same name, arancio, so the name for this Sicilian dish comes from both the fruit and the tree in Sicilian.
For me, I am not so passionate about who is right and who is wrong, what matters to me is the taste! And I can say, both the Palermitani and the Catanesi make awesome arancine/i! If you have never had this beautiful hot little ball of rice, covered in breadcrumbs and fried a beautiful golden colour (the Sicilians call this shade oro vecchio) that you can bite into and taste the flavourful filling, then you have not experienced Sicily completely. Whether you’re a vegetarian, a meat lover or even intolerant to gluten, there is an arancina for you!