Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Roman holiday!

Peanut Butter eating gelato at the Trevi fountain in Rome, Italy.

Please welcome guest bloggers Peanut Butter and Jelly, foodie friends of mine recently back from a Christmas adventure in Rome. In part one of their guest blog, Peanut Butter shares their general Roman food observations. —Asha

For those considering a trip to Rome, it is well worth it if you have any interest in art, architecture, history and of course food! Allow yourself lots of time as there is far too much to see and so many restaurants to try in only a few days.

We noticed that most restaurants served similar dishes. Antipasto was available everywhere, from the least expensive of bars to the most high-end of restaurants. In many respects, the variety of food in Rome is very limited relative to similar-sized cities in North America, but that does not mean it's not worth visiting as many restaurants as possible. The Romans focus on serving their classic dishes in their best possible form and way with the freshest ingredients around.

A chocolate nativity scene in a Roman shop window.


For breakfast, most Romans favour taking an espresso or cappuccino along with a sweet pastry at the bar in the local cafe. This morning tradition became a ritual that Jelly really got into. We found it interesting that even the pastries and bread were sold by weight.

Cooking at the apartment

Most days, we ate a large lunch out, and stuck to making simple meals for dinner at the apartment with fresh ingredients that we picked up at the local grocery store. The clementines, tomatoes and artichokes tasted particularly fresh to us, having just come from Ottawa's cold winter. We bought different varieties of salami and prosciutto to compliment the different cheeses that we found. We observed the locals getting into heated discussions over cheeses at the cheese counter. One of our favourites was a sheep's cheese called piccolino. It spreads on bread similar to butter and is delicious.


Gelato was a great ice cream treat that we enjoyed almost every day (see photo of me at the top!). It did not look to us like the Romans ate as much gelato in the winter as the tourists, who still regularly enjoyed it. A favourite of Jelly's was pine nut, a flavour we found in Florence.

Two Swiss guards in Vatican City.


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