Arancino or Arancina
The pride of the Sicilian Cuisine.. It is a stuffed rice ball which is coated with bread crumbs and
then deep fried. The name comes from the word "little orange" referring to its shape and colour
which, after cooking, is reminiscent of an orange. Arancini produced in eastern Sicily are usually in
a more conical shape.
You can find them anywhere at any time of the day. There are around 100 types of it. Besides the
most common ones such as the ones filled with ragù (beef and tomato sauce), ham, horse meat,
mozzarella and peas, you can try the ones with pistachio or with black ink of cuttlefish.
Pani, panelle e crocchè (o cazzilli)
They are Sicilian fritters made from chickpea flour and other ingredients besides parsley. They are a popular street food of Palermo and are often eaten in “Mafalde”, bread with the crust covered with sesame seeds (In Palermo, they are called “cimino, gigiolena or giuggiulena”). Next to them, have “crocchè” (from French “croquettes”, also called “cazzilli”, fried mixture of potatoes, eggs and cheese). In Sicily, you can find panelle at many places.
Pani ca Meusa
Literally, the name means “bread with spleen”; its Italian name is panino con la milza. It is a dish that consists of a soft bread (locally called vastedda or vastella) lavoured with sesame, stuffed with chopped veal’s lung and spleen that have been boiled and then fried in lard. Caciocavallo or ricotta may also be added, in which case the pani ca meusa is called (Sicilian) maritatu (“married”), if served without cheese, it is called (Sicilian) schettu.
It is a typical poor meal of the traditional Sicilian cuisine. It’s also called “bread of misery” because, in the absence of further richer and appetizing ingredients, poor people used to enrich it with spices and cheap seasonings, easily accessible. Only the luckiest ones could afford the luxury of rubbing a piece of Sardinian on the bread, to make it tastier. The recipe, over the time, has gone evolving with the addition of more sophisticated ingredients. Now it is a tempting giant bread with tomatoes, oregano, capers, in variants with tuna, fried ricotta, eggplants, with differnet kidns of cheese or without chees. The most important part of the taste actually comes from the bread cooked with excellent extra virgin olive oil.