Arancini: Pronounced air-on-chee-nee; Rice balls! Sicilian.
This is an exciting one for me because they are not that common in the US but everyone would probably think they are SO GOOD!! I hope they take off like mozzarella sticks did. I’d be so happy for them. There is no food I’m rooting more than these things.
They are fried balls of rice most often filled with mozzarella cheese and sometimes different sauces. They are decidedly Italian, but I had them at a Spanish restaurant (pictured below, center) and oh man. What a freaking treat.
I mean, cheesy rice balls. Friends and family of notoriously picky eater and singer/songwriter/guitarist for the indie-punk band Sister City Adam Linder may have thought, “Our Adam is going out for tapas, aka Spanish appetizer foods? Heck no!” But when there are cheesy rice balls, EVERYONE IS HAPPY.
Recipe to try: Arancini di Riso from Giada De Laurentiis. She gives you a recipe for risotto to use, too, but you could use any cooked rice. That’s all there is to it!