1. Small nuggets (about 1 inch in diameter) of fresh mozzarella. Bocconcini are generally sold packed in whey or water. They can also be found marinated in olive oil, which may sometimes be flavored with herbs, garlic or red chile pepper flakes. 2. Italian for "mouthful," referring not to size, but to the appetizing appeal of dishes described in this manner. Therefore, in Italian cookery, the word bocconcini may be attributed to many dishes. For example, bocconcini di vitello alla crema is a rich preparation of veal chunks cooked with wine, butter, egg yolks and whipping cream. A less rich, but equally tempting, dish is bocconcini Fiorentinapieces of veal or beef sautéed with garlic, onions and herbs, sometimes with the addition of tomatoes.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.