History of the Arancini

Over the course of its existence, Italian cuisine has conceived a great wealth of foods that are beloved by both Italians and the world alike. This includes (but is not limited to) pizza, pasta, antipasto, or in the case of today’s blog, arancini. Better known in English-speaking nations as rice balls, arancini has long been a staple of Italian cooking and is enjoyed by people of all nations and backgrounds for its distinct texture and great taste. Here at Rina’s Pizzeria, located in Boston’s historic North End, we’re delighted to serve arancini to our customers in addition to our delicious pizza. Learn more about arancini by reading below or come on into Rina’s today to enjoy it for yourself! Give us a call at (617) 456-5700 to learn more or stop by our restaurant at 371 Hanover Street in Boston.

Origins and Backstory

Walking around the festivities of Saint Anthony’s Feast, which takes place in Boston’s North End every summer, you will certainly find no shortage of arancini being sold by vendors. Indeed a popular street food, and a staple of Italian cuisine as a whole, arancini remains an unmistakable dish, but it wasn’t always this way. 

While much of arancini’s origins are surrounded by mystery and folklore, historians point to the 19th century when arancini as we know it began to take shape. According to Mamanapolifoods.com, early versions of the dish favored sweet ingredients as opposed to savory, with many recipes calling for the addition of sugar and even milk.

The Importance of Italian-American Culture

It wasn’t until ample exploration of the “New World” that savory ingredients began to be incorporated into the arancini dish, most notably tomato-based sauces, which most arancini are served with today. As the dish modernized, it began to head into more savory territory, featuring salty flavors such as ground beef, and peas. Thanks to much Italian emigration to the United States, including areas such as Boston’s North End, the food enjoyed renewed popularity in America that it still maintains to this day. 

Looking for Quality Pizza in Boston’s North End?

Stop into Rina’s today! Rina’s Pizzeria is located in Boston’s historic North End neighborhood and has satisfied countless Bostonians and visitors alike! If you’re in Boston looking for delicious, savory pizza – look no further than us here at Rina’s! We look forward to seeing and serving you! Give us a call at (617) 456-5700, or contact us through our website.

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