In Italian cuisine, what are arancini?
Arancini are Italian rice balls that are stuffed, coated with bread crumbs and deep fried, and are a staple of Sicilian cuisine. The most common fillings are: 'al ragù' or 'al sugo', filled with ragù (meat or mince, slow-cooked at low temperature with tomato sauce and spices), mozzarella and/or caciocavallo cheese, and often peas, and 'al burro' or 'ô burru', filled with ham and mozzarella or besciamella.
Arancini are said to have originated in 10th-century Sicily at a time when the island was under Arab rule. In the cities of Palermo, Siracusa, and Trapani in Sicily, arancini are a traditional food for the feast of Santa Lucia on 13 December when bread and pasta are not eaten. This commemorates arrival of a grain supply ship on Santa Lucia's day in 1646, relieving a severe famine.