Last updated: 27 September 2023

Arancino or Arancina: how do they say it in Catania and where to eat the best ones?

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Not sure whether to call it Arancino or Arancina? The important thing is to know where to find the best arancini in Catania! With this guide you'll discover everything you need to know about the king of Catania's street food!

Arancino or Arancina? This is the dilemma! When our non-Sicilian guests arrive to stay in the our flats in the centre of Cataniais one of the first questions we are asked. The second is where to go to eat this speciality of traditional Sicilian cuisine.

In this article we will answer these two 'fundamental' questions that you can't fail to know the answer to if you come on holiday to Catania and its surroundings. In fact, you cannot say you have had a real holiday in Sicily if you have not tasted Catania's street food and arancini.

Mark this tour of the arancini catanesi and make no mistake about choose between arancino or arancina. We will now give you the correct answer.

Arancino or Arancina: what's the word?

Probably if you go into a rotisserie in Catania and ask for an arancina, they won't serve you! This means that in the province of Catania the correct and most commonly used form is: arancinotherefore, in the masculine form. The feminine version, arancina, is instead used in the province of Palermo. So if you are planning a tour of Sicily that includes Palermo, remember this difference.

We of Ferrini HomeWhen asked, we always warn our guests that here in Catania the correct expression is in the masculine form, i.e. arancinoor you can also call it arancinu in Sicilian dialect. Even the Accademia della Crusca has commented on the matter and would seem to agree with the Palermitani because the name derives from the orange fruit, hence feminine, which resembles its shape. But don't tell a Catanese person this!

We are only certain of one thing: arancino or arancina, you absolutely must try it if you come to visit Catania.

Arancini in Catania: where to eat the best ones?

In Catania there are many places to eat good arancini. Generally, the best are found in the large pastry bars that offer specialities from breakfast to dinner with the typical 'rosticceria pieces' among which is the arancino, or rather the protagonist. In the centre of Catania you can also find rosticcerias dedicated entirely to street food, although in recent times even restaurants in the city centre have included the arancino among their courses, with a gourmet twist.

Source: Stock Adobe

Let's see which are the places to absolutely try Catania's arancini.

Two historical pastry shops in the centre of Catania definitely win the first leg: Savia (via Etnea 300) and Spinella (via Etnea 292). These two bars are next to each other and have always competed for the supremacy of the best arancino. We have the solution: try them both! At Savia we also recommend arancino with auberginesa real treat.

Another venue that is popular with tourists and locals alike is Canusciuti (Via Santa Maria della Lettera, 13). This is a real laboratory that offers arancini with typical products but in a slightly more gourmet version. Each arancino is a journey of taste. Also try the fish arancini, which are really tasty.

Also in the city centre, you must try the arancino di Privitera confectionery (Piazza di Gesù, 1), also known for its rotisserie and the hearty dishes it offers for lunch. A historic place that offers mouth-watering cuisine and an arancino made to perfection.

This is a treat that only locals know about: Via Napoli workshop ( Via Napoli, 55). Famous mainly as a bakery because it is open until late at night, it makes really good traditional arancini.

Moving towards the Catania seafront, we cannot but mention the historic Cafe Europa (Corso Italia, 302) a piece of Catanese culinary history. Both the traditional arancino and the pistachio arancino are very good.

The last tip is the Pastry shop Quaranta (Piazza Mancini Battaglia, 22) in front of the city harbour. There are many special flavours of arancini and they also make many other specialities. Truly a treat!

These are some of the most famous addresses and places frequented by real locals where you can go to eat the best Catania arancini.

Arancino Catania: how it was born and the original recipe

Before we leave you to organise your gastronomic tour to discover the best arancino in Catania, we want to tell you how the arancino came about and reveal the original Catania recipe, so that when you get homesick for Sicily you can replicate them.

We start with the history of the arancino. The Arabswhich dominated the Sicily between the 9th and 11th centuriesThey prepared a recipe very similar to what we call arancino today. They rolled the rice flavoured with saffron in the palm of their hands, seasoned it with lamb meat and gave it a very special flavour. spherical shape. Moreover, it was the Arabs who first named this rice ball after a similarly shaped and sized fruit, i.e. the orange. Thus was born this fabulous dish!

Now, we would like to close this article devoted entirely to the king of Sicilian steet food unveiling the arancino recipe of Catania's grandmothers.

The typical Catania arancino recipe

Source: Stock Adobe by Vincenzo VAD

The original version of the arancino recipe, the one handed down by the grandmothers of Catania, includes tomato sauce, horse meat and peas.

These are the ingredients for the filling:

  • A carrot
  • A celery stalk
  • An onion
  • 500 grams of mixed meat of beef and pork, or horse meat in small pieces
  • 200 grams of tomato paste
  • Two bottles of tomato sauce
  • 200 grams of peas
  • 250 grams of caciocavallo cheese
  • Salt and pepper.

These are the ingredients for the rice:

  • 500 grams of rice
  • A knob of butter
  • Two sachets of saffron
  • 50 grams of grated pecorino or Parmigiano

For the breading you need breadcrumbs and two eggs.

The execution of the recipe involves several steps. Shall we start? Wilt the celery, carrots and onion, add the tomato sauce and simmer for several hours. Prepare the meat stew and, after browning it and deglazing it with wine, cook it with the sauce. Then devote yourself to the peas. Cook the rice with saffron, cream it with butter and grated pecorino (or Parmesan) cheese, then flatten it to cool.

And now it is time to form the arancini. Take a layer of rice with wet hands, knead it a little to make it malleable but not flaky, then put your hand in the shape of a cone, place the rice on it and flatten it with your other hand. Fill the shape with the sauce, a few pieces of horse meat, peas and caciocavallo cheese and close with more rice. Compact and define the shape. Now beat the egg with a fork, dip the arancino in it and then roll it in breadcrumbs. Here we go: drop it into the hot oil and feel how it fries, crackles and fills the air with its irresistible aroma.

We hope that thanks to our advice and the excellent hospitality we offer in our flats and suites Ferrini Homecan experience an unforgettable holiday in Sicily.

☀️ You might also be interested in: What to see in Catania in a day!

If you are planning your trip to Sicily and still don't know where to stay in Catania, you can book one of our flats or one of our suites in Catania city centre now. We will be happy to find the most suitable solution for you and your family so that you can enjoy an unforgettable, stress-free holiday in Sicily.

To see our facilities, visit our dedicated page or 
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We are waiting for you in Sicily, where our hospitality will make you feel at home!

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