Some suggestions on Roman Street Food
There are a lot of traditional places, where to get Take away food in Rome. Visitors will notice a lot of different names for commercial establishments, where you can buy something to eat, that’s cheap, ready and small. Italy has absolutely mastered the art of serving food anywhere, anytime. Street food is an important part of Roman food tradition. In a longer time-scale all these different types of eateries are descendants of the ancient roman thermopolia, cook-shops, where it was possible to purchase ready-to-eat food. While we tend to think of take-out food as having originated in the modern era as a result of our “too busy to prepare my own meal” lifestyle, the truth is quite the opposite. The concept of take-out food can be traced back to antiquity; both in Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece, it was common for people to buy prepared food from market and roadside stalls. Poor people could not afford a private kitchen in their house, so eating, or at least cooking, at home was highly uncommon. Poor people usually ate outside and would purchase their food from the local thermopolium. The thermopolium was an ancient form of a take-out restaurant, an outdoor service counter that offered ready to eat food. The word thermopolium literally means “a place where something hot is sold”.
Tavola calda, “Traditional Take away”
Literally “hot table,” this is the closest thing there is to Italian fast food. In a tavola calda, you’ll find a counter full of pre-made dishes which you order by the piece or by weight and which are re-heated for you. They’re popular with business people who don’t have the luxury of a long lunch break, and are also an option for bringing home dinner when you don’t want to cook. If you eat your food at the tavola calda, chances are good you’ll be doing it standing up. Tavole calde in Rome sell a range of fried goodies like supplì – fillets of baccala and zucchini flowers. You can buy stuffed chicken legs and beef tagliata, roast meat and vegetables ranging from plain greens to melanzane alla parmigiana (parmesan aubergine bake) or roasted vegetables like carciofi alla giudia (artichokes Jewish style).
A bar in Italy is a business establishment in which patrons can purchase coffee drinks, wine and liquor, soft drinks, and usually morning pastries and/or sandwiches called painini (un panino is one sandwich, two sandwiches are due panini). In larger bars, many flavors of Italy’s famous gelato, or ice cream (really more ice milk) may be served… Italians may visit their local bar several times in the morning for coffee and again in the early evening for an aperitivo or cocktail before dinner. The typical Italian breakfast is a cappuccino or espresso and cornetto, had in a bar. Stopping in for a coffee on the way to do an errand or when you’re going somewhere with your friends is common in Italy. At bars in larger cities, and especially ones near tourist centers, it will cost more to sit at a table, and often even more if the table is outside, than it will be to stand at the bar because you will also pay for service. Prices are posted– al banco meaning the price for consuming a beverage at the bar or al tavolo meaning the price at the table.
Pizza al Taglio
In Italy, pizza appears in a seemingly infinite variety of forms. The most quintessentially common Roman style is pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice). The dough is placed in rectangular cast-iron pans, topped, and baked. Then the rectangular slices are reheated and sold by weight. By design, pizza al taglio is a cheap snack, so to keep prices down, most places skimp on ingredients. There are a small but growing number of places that balance quality and profit.
Pizzaiolo Stefano Callegari invented the trapizzino in 2009, merging the triangular shape of the popular tramezzino sandwich with a long, slowly leavened pizza dough. He fills his tri-cornered creations with Roman classics like oxtail simmered with tomato and celery, chicken with bell peppers, and tripe cooked with tomato.
The towns of Ariccia and Marino southeast of Rome are famous for their deboned, rolled, and roasted pork belly and loin. When done properly, the bound pork rolls are cooked at a low temperature to maintain moisture and maximize flavor.
Local lore tells that supplì, fried rice balls, were introduced by the French during the reign of Napoleon. Regardless of origins, this elongated croquette is among the most authentically Roman street foods. Not to be confused with spherical arancini, a similar Sicilian snack, Roman supplì feature seasoned rice packed around a bit of mozzarella, which melts when the whole supplì is deep fried. The classic rice flavorings are meat sauce or ground pork with gizzards, but recently pizza by the slice shops have offered different twists, even occasionally swapping out rice for pasta.
Crocchette di patate (potato croquettes).
Pizza co’ la mortazza
Pizza co’ la mortazza, essentially a bologna sandwich, is among the most classic Roman snacks, traditionally sold by bakeries or small grocery stores. Pizza Bianca (white pizza), a local flatbread, is cut open and filled with a few thin slices of mortadella. The sandwich is best when the pizza is straight out of the oven and the mortadella melts into the steaming bread.
Pizza bianca – “white pizza” – is effectively plain pizza, simply sprinkled with coarse salt and brushed with olive oil. It can be fairly thin, or it can be fairly puffy – more akin to what is called focaccia. There are fine lines between different types of flat bread. The Roman Pizza bianca is normally higher, while the traditional Pizza rossa is thinner. The recipe is simple, combining organic flour, water, salt, yeast and sugar. It produces a classic snack that is soft and chewy on the inside, crispy on the bottom and lightly toasted on the top.
Pizza, red pizza is a philosophy in Rome. While Pizza Bianca is high and crozy, Pizza rossa is thin and humid. It’s simply flatbread topped with tomato sauce and olive oil.
There are sandwiches all over town ranging from simple classics like prosciutto and mozzarella on a rosetta roll to pricey “panini gourmet.” For a new approach to panini, but with strong Roman roots, go for an offal sandwich. The “new” Testaccio Market opened in 2012 near the city’s former slaughterhouse. While the previous market sold only raw materials, the current market sells prepared foods, a rare but growing service in Rome’s market spaces.
Filetti di Baccalà
The Best sweets in Rome
Generally when you think Rome or Italy even, you think pizza and pasta. But Italy is of course home of some of the most loved sweets in the world. Think tiramisu, cornetti, cannoli… the list goes on. We know that the French are known the world around for their delicate sugary creations but there is one difference between their sweets and Italian Perhaps a little less refined than French pastries, Italian sweets vary from region to region and you’ll find something to tame that sugar craving wherever you are.
Located in the San Lorenzo district of Rome, Said is heaven for lovers of chocolate. This modern day chocolate bar started out as a chocolate factory in 1923 and has been serving up sweet treats ever since! You’ll see chocolate moulds, tools and all things chocolate.
Tiramisu quite literally means, “a pick me up.” One of Italy’s most popular, Tiramisu is a rich treat blending the bold flavors of cocoa and espresso with savory mascarpone cheese and wine, layered with ladyfinger biscuits.
Tiramisu is an elegant and rich layered Italian dessert made with delicate ladyfinger cookies, espresso or instant espresso, mascarpone cheese, eggs, sugar, Marsala wine, rum and cocoa powder. Through the grouping of these diverse ingredients, an intense yet refined dish emerges. The delicate flavor of layers of mascarpone and Italian custard are contrasted with the darkly robust presence of espresso and sharpness of cocoa powder. The name itself, tiramisu, means “pick me up” in Italian most likely referring to the two caffeinated ingredients that are present in the dish, espresso and cocoa.
Traditional tiramisu begins with Savoiardi Ladyfingers, light and delicately sweet sponge cake biscuits. These cookies have a long standing heritage in Italian Cuisine developed at the court of the Duchy of Savoy during the 15th century to welcome a visit from the King of France. Savoiardi Ladyfingers were given their name when they were granted the designation of “official court biscuit.”
Today a number of tiramisu variations are available. One popular alternative includes chocolate tiramisu, in which chocolate takes the place of the coffee. Another version is fruit tiramisu, where complementary fruit such as berries, peaches or apricots are added. Frozen tiramisu recipes are also available. They include the addition of gelato, frozen yogurt or ice cream in place of the custard. Tiramisu’s popularity over the last three decades have prompted cooks to adapt the essential ingredients used in the dish for a number of recipes such as cakes, ice creams, cheesecakes and puddings.
Rome’s gelato and sorbets are perhaps its most affordable gourmet snack. Two scoops rarely cost more than €2.50 and even the places devoted to extremely high-quality ingredients (a small minority of the city’s 2,500 shops) keep their product affordable.
A cornetto (“little horn”) is not a croissant (French for “crescent”). Nor is it an ice-cream. It’s an Italian relative of the croissant, likely with the same origins, but today a distinct product. Sure they look similar, but they’re slightly different.
Both the croissant and the cornetto are breakfast pastries. The quintessential breakfast I witness being consumed day-in day-out in Rome is a coffee – either a simple caffè (espresso) or cappucino (often just called cappuccio in Rome) – with a cornetto, normally just a cornetto semplice (“simple”, ie plain).
Many cafés offer a large selection of different breakfast pastries, or lieviti (literally “yeasted” or “risens”, meaning pastries made with yeasted dough). Italians like chocolate, so saccottino al cioccolato is one of the favorites. In Italian, a sacco is a sack, so this literally is a “little sack with chocolate”.
The cornetto semplice is also apparently also known as the cornetto vuoto(“empty”), to contrast it with various types of cornetti ripieni (“filled”). These include cornetto alla crema (with custard), alla marmellata (with jam, marmalade or other conserve), al miele (with honey; this is often made with an integrale, whole wheat, dough), and cornetto al cioccolato. The latter is an actual cornetto that is usually filled with that vile brown vegetable-oil product beloved of Italians, Nutella.