Sicilian speciality listed in prestigious English dictionary.
Arancini, Italy's deep-fried rice balls, have been listed in the revised 2019 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Arancini, among 650 new words added to the dictionary, are defined as "rice balls" with "a savoury filling, covered with breadcrumbs and fried”, and are "typically served as antipasto or snack."
Arancini hail from the Catania region of east Sicily, and are made in a conical shape reminiscent of the volcano Mount Etna.
The listing in the English dictionary has also reignited the spelling of the popular street food snack: Oxford has chosen the masculine 'arancini', native to Catania, over the feminine 'arancine' as they are known in western Sicily including Palermo.
Arancini are stuffed with various fillings such as traditional ragù, peas, mozzarella or melanzane, but in recent years there are ever more creative and unexpected fillings including broccoli, spinach, pistachio or salmon, as well as vegetarian options.
The fried rice balls are said to have originated in 10th-century Sicily at a time when the island was under Arab rule.
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