One of the popular snacks in Italy is a fried ball of rice with fillings. On our recent trip, I found out that there are 2 types of rice balls in Italy. I was introduced to the Italian rice ball arancini on my first trip to Italy, and assumed that it’s the only kind. I learned that there is another version called suppli. Arancini originated from Sicily while suppli is from the Lazio region of Italy.
Sicilian arancini or Roman suppli? How can one tell the difference? One can distinguish arancini from suppli based on the shape of the rice ball. Arancini is round while suppli is oblong in shape. However, the difference doesn’t end in the shape. They also differ in the way they are prepared. To make suppli, the rice is cooked in ragu (meat based sauce), shaped into oblong shaped balls filled with mozzarella, covered in bread crumbs, and fried. The arancini on the other hand is made by slow cooking rice in either chicken or vegetable broth with saffron, then ragu is added. The rice is shaped into round balls usually filled with peas. The rice balls are then covered in bread crumbs and fried.
Which of the two do I like better? I enjoy eating both kinds. Both are delicious. They are the best finger foods to eat while exploring the streets of Rome.