Some ROME tips for travelers
WHAT TO EAT IN ROME
Italian cuisine is famous worldwide for the quality of its ingredients and the mastery in mixing them.
There are many Italian dishes that everybody should taste ones in their lives, but in this article, we will consider almost exclusively plates of the Roman/Jewish tradition.
ARTICHOKES JEWISH STYLE (CARCIOFI ALLA GIUDIA)
Are considered appetizers or side dishes and are an example of the Roman deep-frying technique.
FRIED COD (BACCALA’ FRITTO)
Let’s start by saying that fried cod is not the same fish as “fish and chips.”
“Baccalà Fritto” is the art of deep-frying and Rome is its homeland. It can be an appetizer or the main fish course. It seems that one of the secrets is to soak the dehydrated cod for more than two days.
SPAGHETTI ALLA CARBONARA (‘NA CARBONARA)
The carbonara recipe has changed several times over the years, and … unfortunately, there are still some restaurants around the world that use garlic, cream, milk, and two or three types of different cheeses.
The carbonara ingredients are pork cheek (not bacon), egg (mostly the yolk), pecorino cheese, pepper, and nothing else. Remember that it’s a carbonara, not an omelet ….. the egg must be fresh and undercooked.
BUCATINI ALL’AMATRICIANA (NA’MATRICIANA)
Amatriciana takes its name from Amatrice, a small town near Rieti (80 Km from Rome). It seems that the first Amatriciana made in Rome was at a restaurant called “The Guy From Amatrice” – “L’Amatriciano,” located near Ponte Sant’Angelo and Navona square, where there also used to be an old market where people from Rieti used to sell their food products. The real Amatriciana ingredients are pork cheek of Amatrice (not bacon), Pecorino cheese, and fresh tomato sauce. The pasta to be used is Bucatini which looks like thick spaghetti, but has a hole running through its center. Avoid eating Bucatini all’Amatriciana wearing a white shirt.
RIGATONI ALL GRICIA
The “Gricia” also comes from the Amatrice area, and it differs from Amatriciana for three substantial reasons. It doesn’t require fresh tomato sauce, it’s better to use Rigatoni (a short tube-shaped variety of pasta) instead of Bucatini, and the pork cheek arrives from Griciano (15 km far away from Amatrice). Nobody knows which are the differences between an Amatrice Pork and a Griciano Pork, but it seems essential to underline the different origins. It’s possible to eat Rigatoni alla Gricia wearing a white shirt, but carefully.
SPAGHETI CHEESE AND PEPPER (SPAGHETTI CACIO E PEPE)
The ingredients to prepare Cacio and Pepper Spaghetti are only Spaghetti, Pecorino cheese, and Pepper, but creating the cheese cream without lumps by using cooking water and Pecorino is a real art. Another secret for cooking a perfect dish is to use whole peppercorns crushed at the moment.
The Roman Pizza is different from classic Pizza due to the height of its dough. Roman Pizza is thinner and, therefore, more digestible. You may also find places where you can choose between several kinds of Pizza baked in rectangular trays and sold sliced according to weight. Such places are called “Pizza al Taglio” and are very interesting as they allow people to choose the quantity of each kind of Pizza they prefer.
SALTIMBOCCA ALLA ROMANA
Saltimbocca means “jumping around the mouth,” and just this should already give the idea of what it can be.
Ingredients are slices of veal, prosciutto, butter, sage leaves, and flour.
It’s a second course, but sometimes you also find it rolled as a portion of finger food.
In our opinion, nothing can be compared with Italian artisan Gelato. Flavors can be divided into two subcategories; creams and fruits. Chocolate Pistachio or hazelnut (nocciola), strawberry, lemon, or pineapple are just a few of the dozens of flavors that you may find in each of the small gelaterias around the city.
COFFEE – CAFFE
Coffee is another excellence of Italian gastronomy. There are many varieties of coffee for such a short drink. You may hear Italians ask for a Caffé Lungo (long), Corto (short), Macchiato (stained with milk), Schiumato (foamed with milk foam), Marocchino (Moroccan, with milk and chocolate), Americano (American), Freddo (cold), but all these varieties are accepted solely out of meals. After a meal, only straight coffee is admitted: no varieties, no milk, and no Cappuccino.
Limoncello is not a Roman invention but is probably the best way to finish an Italian meal. Together with Amaro “Bitter,” Limoncello, is considered an “ammazzacaffè,” which means “coffee killer.” It is used to remove the taste of coffee so that you can start eating again.