When you don’t hear from me for a while, you know I’m up to something. This time, I was in Rome, and I was obviously too busy eating to write!
Rome is where my extended family lives so, each time I visit, it’s a festa. This trip was no exception.
While I could write a book about everything I experienced, I decided to create a list called Tina’s Top 10 – my pics for what to enjoy (from a culinary standpoint) when in Rome. The list isn’t in any particular order.
- Piazza Campo di Fiori: This open-air market is about 1/3 the size of a football field, and it’s near the Piazza Navona. When you go to the market, and if you’re like me, you will over-buy. Everything is fresh, beautiful, huge and completely irresistible.
- Porchetta: In Rome, this is a prized meat dish. Porchetta, or pork, is a whole, boneless pig spread with lavish amounts of herbs and seasonings and roasted slowly for hours. In the town of Arricia, about an hour outside of Rome, you can find some of the finest porchetta around.
- Scamorza: If you like Mozzarella, you’ll love Scamorza. This is one of the few cow’s milk cheeses produced south and east of Rome. It’s a simple cheese, but flavorful, complementing a snack of crusty bread and grapes, and making it taste absolutely decadent.
- Carciofi (Artichokes): During springtime in Rome, artichoke festivals are everywhere, and this is when they’re at their best; however, that’s not to say they can’t be enjoyed year round. You’ll find some delicious ones at little markets in just about every town.
- Bucatini all’Amatriciana: I made this last night. It’s easy and delicious with its recipe originating in Abruzzi.
- Torta di Mandorole e Ricotta: Dessert isn’t a big deal in Rome. Romans like a bit of cheese, fruit or gelato to finish their meal; however, if you really need to satisfy your sweet tooth, this torte made with sheep’s milk ricotta is to-die-for.
- Fave Dei Morti: These little cookies (fabuloso with espresso), are only made in November. Why? Click here to find out.
- Finocchio: I love fennel. It has a delicate essence of licorice and it’s perfect in a salad or as an alternate to celery. (Notable for those of you on a diet or watching your weight.)
- L’Abbacchio: This would be milk-fed lamb. There’s nothing more tender and succulent, and it’s quite popular in Rome where the cuisine really hasn’t been influenced by outside cultures and whose cooking is rooted in local products and history.
- Averna: This drink isn’t exclusive to Rome, but I love it so much, it made my “it” list. It’s an after dinner drink that’s bitter and sweet at the same time and, lucky for us, available in the US.