Italy is one of the great culinary centers of the world, and a visit to Rome is a wonderful opportunity to try a diverse mix of dishes and wines from both the capital and other surrounding regions. So whether you consider yourself a foodie or are just looking for the best of what the city has to offer, here are a few can’t-miss dishes in Rome.
1. Pizza Bianca
Pizza Bianca literally translates to “white pizza,” and it is the quintessential Roman style street food that you will most often see being folded and eaten on the go. This baked bread is light, fluffy, crispy, and salty. Think of a bread that is less like the greasy slices you’re likely to get at home and similar to focaccia.
Though it can be a little disconcerting to eat too much fried food, Romans have a penchant for frying everything, and you’re just as likely to find deep fried dishes of salt cod, zucchini flowers, and fried balls of Risotto (Arancini) in a deli corner store or a Michellin Starred restaurant.
The main dish that comes to the mind of most Italians when they think of Rome is carbonara, a rich mix of fresh eggs, pasta, sheep’s milk cheese, cured pork cheek, black pepper, and white wine. Traditionally carbonara is served with spaghetti, but more often than not it is now served with rigatoni.
4. Quinto Quarto
As occurred so often across history, some of the best Roman dishes were made traditionally made with off-cuts of meat that were used to pay slaughterhouse workers in the mid 20th century. Quinto Quarto, or the fifth quarter, remains to this day one of the most popular cuisines in Rome and features dishes such as Tripa Alla Romana—tripe served with a rich tomato sauce and pecorino cheese—and Coda Alla Vaccinara—stewed oxtail.
It may be a staple throughout all of Italy, but it is so for a reason, and in Rome you must be seek it out carefully, as many of the gelaterias in the touristy areas sell a “fake” version. Be sure the gelato you’re getting is made only with milk and real fruit or real dark chocolate. It should be thick and creamy, and never consist of more than 5 all natural ingredients.
When planning your trip to Rome be sure to not only set-up an itinerary for viewing the amazing historic sites, but think carefully of what and where you want to eat, as the food is also a major attraction. Click on this link for some help.