Do you know what arancini are and have you ever tasted them? If the answer is no, let me enlighten you and introduce you to the scrumptious world of arancini.
Arancini are golden, crisp-coated risotto balls that are primarily a Sicilian delicacy. They are also eaten all over Italy and are becoming increasingly popular further afield as a street food. Their name is derived from the Italian word for an orange (fruit), arancia, based on loose comparisons with their shape and colour.
I’m a fan of arancini and was really excited when I first discovered the Arancini Brothers (http://www.arancinibrothers.com) a few years ago at Masterchef Live at Olympia Exhibition Centre, London. Ever since then, I have been seeing their presence more and more at produce markets and food festivals around London.
Their arancini are delicious and moreish – they have just the right balance of rice, mozzarella, cheddar cheese, citrus and herbs, and are served as a street food, akin to falafels. They can be enjoyed either on their own, or as part of a salad box, or in a sumptuous wrap (as seen above). Me myself, I’m a purist and love my arancini as they come with home made garlic mayonnaise and chili chutney.
I visited the Arancini Brothers factory cafe in Kentish Town and spoke to the company’s founder owners, David Arkin (aka Big D) and David Earl (aka Little D). While I was there, as well as enjoying some delicious arancini, the two Davids told me the story of their company, from its origins to the present day. I also spent time in their kitchen watching arancini being produced by Little D – if you listen carefully to this interview you can hear the sound of arancini being hand-rolled.