There’s no point denying it, it seems that 90% of Sicilian street food has a cardiac impact. Starting the day with ice-cream on brioche and ending it with deep-fried delights in white buns (think panelle and crocchè) seems to be a religious rite around here. And the sovereign street food indulgence that wins all the medals is, you guessed it: arancini.
It seems that arancini have been around forever in Sicily, local sources claiming that the first ones came in the 10th century with the arabs. Throughout the years, every Southern region has developed its own arancino identity, defined by a particular shape, taste and secret ingredients.
As of late, a newer tradition has slowly started to take shape. An “upgraded” arancino, you may call it, that has its roots in Sicilian traditions, but sneaks around the world in search of new flavours. One of the first places to start this quest of reinventing the arancino is Ke Palle in Palermo. With their roots in artisan recipes, Ke Palle is taking the traditional arancino one step further, not afraid to experiment with textures and taste.
Their arancini selection is broad. Covering traditional approaches like Sfincione (inspired by the Palermitan pizza), Norma (you guessed it, from pasta alla norma) and pasta-based Anelletti alla siciliana to more experimental ones with prawn and pistachios, crudo and cantaloupe or squid ink, they have something for everyone. Compared to the traditional arancini, the rice is saffron-coloured, but tamed in taste since the focus is placed on the fillings.
Although these tasty rice balls are great all day, we recommend visiting Ke Palle as soon as they open: there’s nothing better than savouring one of these babies as soon they came out of the friggitrice. Yes, the arancino may be a high calorie, high impact street food classic. But after a few walks around bustling Palermo, any form of guilt from savouring these little rice balls will magically disappear.