Stuzzichini are small bite sized snacks typically found at bars at happy hour or served as appetizers. These bites vary from fried mozzarella, finger sandwiches, arancini, supplí, potato croquettes, and more. This post focuses on supplí specifically. Supplí are typical to Rome, but can be found throughout Italy.
Supplí are balls of rice with tomato sauce around mozzarella, coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried. They are probably the most popular of stuzzichini, typically served as a snack at bars, or as part of an appetizer before a pizza or other meal. Sure, you don’t have to order the appetizer, but when you’re out with a big group, it’s something that’s just done.
Pictured below, is a delicious supplí al telefono from Pizzarium in Rome – owned and run by popular bread baker Gabriele Bonci. The one pictured here is specifically known as the supplí al telefono because when you break it apart, the mozzarella stretches like a telephone cord.
Also pictured below is not a rice-based supplí, but an innovative stuzzichini creation called Gia’nduja, found at the pizzeria/birreria (beer hall) bir & fud in Trastevere.
Similar to the potato croquette, the Gia’nduja was a ball of mashed potato mixed with fragments of the super spicy ‘nduja – a sausage made with pork parts and roasted spicy peppers. It is similar to andouille and originates from the Calabria region.
Cleverly, because of its similar name, the Gia’nduja was topped with gianduja chocolate, giving it a deep soothing finish to the spicy kick of the ‘nduja bits inside.
NOTE: This is an updated version of an article originally posted in 2011 on a previous blog I ran called Modern Culture: Italy. The article was part of a series called Adventures in Rome. The blog no longer exists; however, I am pulling and updating some of the articles that I found to be interesting enough to have a life here on Magnusmade.com.