Lazio Food (30)
Delicious local Italian typical products to discover if you are planning a vacation or visit to Rome and the rest of the region of Lazio. Where to go, what to look out for and when to find them in season. Our latest or last updated articles are below.
The cultivation of olive trees and the production of olive oil in north Lazio, known locally as La Tuscia, predates the ancient Roman period to Etruscan times, and some 600 years BC. It is surprising how much evidence remains and those farmers working in the territory still hold the Etruscans in great regard.
They are proud of their porcini mushrooms in Vetralla in northern Lazio. Many people are familiar with the dried versions sold in Italian supermarkets, but the fresh, earthy original is a living soul to be treated with care and admiration. As soon as the first rains come following the August holidays, the glorious funghi porcini are ripe for harvesting.
The Marino wine festival or Sagra dell'Uva is typically held on the first Sunday of October. This annual grape event or festival attracts thousands of people from all over the region to the Roman Hills and has to be done just once. The event includes a procession, music and period costumes. The highlight is when the 'Fountain of the Four Moors' of the town starts gushing white wine which is distributed freely amongst the crowd. The traditional cellars of the town also open and visitors can purchase soft white bread, meat and wine to keep them going.
This ia a short profile of 'Sora Anna' provided to us by In Italy Tours who run cooking classes and food vacations featuring the larger than life Anna Dente. Heinz Beck, three star Michelin Chef of La Pergola in Rome, describes 'Sora Anna' as the 'Queen of Roman cooking' and her famous restaurant in San Cesareo near the Castelli Romani can't get more of a recommendation than that.
If you are interested in meeting Sora Anna and learning from her then do consider either the Rome Cooking Vacation or Castelli Romani Food and Wine Tour behind each link. Below is a little about her own background and history.
The Romanesco Artichoke Festival of Ladispoli near Rome was first celebrated in 1951 and is now held during the second week of April. The festival was initiated to help popularize this bulbous vegetable (long recognized for its aphrodisiac properties) that is proudly cultivated in this Roman town on the Tyrrhenian Sea (it's an hour north of Rome, nestled between the Tolfa Mountains and Lake Bracciano.
If you're wondering why a kosher restaurant in the heart of Rome and however can Jewish food relate to Italian food, forget gefilte fish and potato pancakes and read on. Included in the population of 3,500,000 Romans are about 27,000 Roman Jews. Roman Jewry has been in existence for over 2000 years without interruption, longer than any other community of Jews in the Western World.
In the 2nd century B.C., they came as traders from the Middle East; after the Roman Empire's conquest of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, they came as slaves; and after 1492 they arrived from Spain and Sicily to escape the Inquisition. These large migrations were later supplanted by others from central and eastern Europe and even northern Africa.
Layer upon layer of groups melding into a unique Jewish community, along the way contributing to what today is one of the great regional cuisines in all of Italy.
If you are lucky enough to be in Rome for Christmas, you should certainly try some of the traditional Roman dishes which make up the classic Christmas dinner menus. And you will have twice the chance of doing this, as it is now common to celebrate with rich meals on both Christmas Eve (Vigilia) and Christmas Day.
Dinner on the 24th is all about fries and fish. For example 'fritto misto alla romana' is a tasty dish with fried vegetables such as zucchini, artichokes, broccoli and especially codfish. But you can also find spaghetti with clams ortuna, roast sea bass, eel or salmon.
In mid September 2009, the 'Farmer's Market' in Rome was set up. Following many successful markets elsewhere, the Circo Massimo houses this weekly Sunday event. It is a direct appointment between local producers and consumers every Saturday and Sunday. Fruit, vegetables, cheeses, salami, honey and jams are just some of the prducts on sale.
Located in a country famous for its coffee culture, Rome offers some of the best cafés in the world. If you find yourself in the Eternal city any time soon, be sure not to miss some of our favorite local places to get a caffeine fix.
Via dei Condotti, 86
No visit to Rome would be complete without a visit to the famous Caffé Greco, renowned for its reputation of attracting artists, intellectuals, poets, and musicians since the days of the Grand Tour. The décor of this elegant café reminds one of a Viennese tea room, while its romantic history will conjure up images of penniless bohemians endlessly scratching away in a corner. Before going, be sure to take some time to glance at the café’s website, which offers a more in-depth description of the many prominent figures that often frequented the café, including Keats, Shelley and Byron, among many others.
At its most authentic amatricana pasta is a simple dish of pork and pecorino cheese topping a fresh pasta. It kept the central Appennine shepherds fed as they moved their sheep and animals to and from the high mountain pastures twice a year. The Romans documented something similar in the zone over 2000 years ago.
It seems the word 'matriciana' is a reference to the branding of the pigs back or 'guanciale' as identification. Many shepherds also sold their animals and by-products in the markets in ancient Rome.