Travel, Etc. --> A Gastronomic Tour of Rome
A Gastronomic Tour of Rome
A Little Bit of Italy, 2012
As some of you know, Linda and I took a much anticipated and amazing trip to Italy this past fall. But it’s funny…people always seem to be very busy when you offer to show them the 873 photos Linda took!! We found a great Italian travel consultant, Maria Gabriella Landers, who helped us plan our trip….so if you want any ideas or suggestions for a future trip, drop me an email and I’ll be glad to share. I worked very hard at not making this a wine trip, so we have not written about it. But knowing how many foodies we have on our email list, we did want to share one unique and highly recommended experience if you are ever in Rome – a gastronomic tour.
Sure, everyone can find excellent restaurants in Rome, a sidewalk cafe a block from our hotel had the best carbonara I've ever eaten. However, on obscure, narrow streets, found only by walking with a good guide are the many hidden treasures of Rome…the local shops offering what our foodie guide, Gina, thought were the best Rome has to offer.
Gina Tringali is an American expat with a Sicilian heritage, and an MBA from NYU, who escaped the financial services industry in the US. She relocated to Rome where she earned a degree in Gastronomy and makes her way as a free-lance food and travel writer, restaurant consultant and a gastronomic tour guide.
We started our tour by visiting her favorite, and Rome’s oldest chocolatier, Confetteria Moriondo e Gariglio. Family owned since 1850, this tiny shop features exquisite chocolates and candies made in the back of the storefront. We sampled flavors and textures like nothing we’ve ever experienced in the U.S.
Next followed a visit to Sant’Eustachio Il Caffe, a coffee shop and roaster founded in 1938. Here, Gina instructed us how to consume like a true Italian when drinking cappuccino or espresso…step up to the bar, order, down it quickly and move on – none of our “linger at Starbucks” culture happens in authentic Italian coffee shops. And with the strength of the espresso served, sipping would not have worked anyway. This experience proved valuable since it kept us from embarrassing ourselves when visiting coffee shops during the rest of the trip.
We were then on to a tiny bakery filled wall to wall with Italian baked goods of every description. There we bought pizza by the slice from large oblong shaped capresse pizza. We haven’t tried to reproduce this gorgeous pizza we sampled, but as soon as the tomatoes and basil are back next summer, look for the recipe in the newsletter. We only drooled at the other baked goods.
No Indiana Farmers’ Market prepared us for the “real deal” market, the market at Campo de’Fiori Piazza. This gigantic market featured everything from fresh fish, fruit and vegetables to pasta. Then right next to the market was the most amazing array of cured meats, something of a way of life in Italy, at Norcineria Viola on the square. If ever a picture was worth a thousand words, this one tells the story.
You can’t possibly visit Italy without enjoying cheese and wine…and we did that at Beppe e I Suoi Formaggiwhich is a gourmet meat, cheese and wine shop located at the gateway of the Jewish Ghetto. I know something about cured meats and cheese, but I have no idea what at least half of the amazing cheese and charcuterie was on the plate that we shared over glasses of excellent Soave.
Our final stop was dessert…gelato at Gelateria del Teatro…a stop that a quick Google search will show you as regarded as the best gelato in Rome. They feature an amazing array of flavors from savory sage and rosemary to the nutella and dark chocolate that we enjoyed.
This was a pretty amazing morning that doubled as both breakfast and lunch. And sure, you could do all of this on your own, but Gina helping us learn the history and nuances of Roman food culture made this a memorable experience which we would highly recommend. Check out her web site at: http://ginatringali.gtfoodandtravel.com/
February 6, 2013