How Not To Behave Like A Glutton In Rome

by Matt on October 30, 2009

Rome-Graphic

We’ve just returned from a quick trip to Rome. It was an amazing adventure filled with food, wine, stellar company and a few amazing side trips that I’ll be blogging about shortly. But in the meantime, please enjoy this guide to not letting your eyes and stomach get the best of you while roaming around the city. Because folks, I only have your best interests in mind and would hate for you to pack on an additional nine pounds  (you read that right) while visiting this amazing city. Let this be a lesson to you and plan accordingly. I happen to do gluttony very, very well. I’m sure the Pope would have something to say about that.

In all sincerity there is pure pleasure in being surrounded by people so passionate about the food of their country.  We were never short of suggestions and everyone was so gracious about explaining what makes their food so special. For me it was an eye-opening experience and one I hope to relive again very soon.
.Food-4-Up

Ignore the Three Dinner Rule

Was it sheer excitement? Stupidity? Taking advantage of a good thing? You decide. But having three dinners in one night might have something to do with it. But could you blame me? With our useful guide and best friend Kristina we found ourselves stopping for pizza on the street, salumi, cheese and wine (with snacks!) and some gelato before ever making it to the restaurant. And then dessert.  I’ve been on Tapas Crawls in Spain before but I really outdid myself here.

Cappucino-&-Cafe

Don’t Drink Five Cappuccinos A Day Out Of The Realization That You’ll Never Have Anything So Perfect Ever Again.

And this doesn’t even touch the shots of espresso I had after that. But when you are in a place that does coffee so remarkably well, each drink served with such perfection you can’t say no. And that seems to be the way things go for me in Rome: familiar and comforting but executed perfectly, like a dream where nothing bad happens. That doesn’t mean one is immune from bad food in Rome (a dinner of mediocre pizza confirms this) but chances are you can’t go too wrong with coffee here.  And because of this I’ve been sufficiently caffeinated the entire time. Hallelujah.

Gelato-Blog

Skip Eating Tons Of Gelato For “Research” Purposes.

I’m in the food business. I have a food blog. I owe it to myself to eat as much gelato as possible so that I have a decent point of reference when discussing it with others, right? It was this excuse that I hid behind as I sampled my way through gelaterias across Rome. And while some were significantly better than others I will most likely never tire of ANYTHING. NOCCIOLA. EVER.

innocenti-fornaio

Lose Control When Passing Every Pasticceria

You could do what I was not able to do and pass every pastry shop along the way, stopping only when you are hungry for something sweet. Or you could dart into each shop “just because”, picking up a handful of pastries because who knows if you’ll ever see them again. My hands-down favorite was the Plum & Cherry Crostata from Innocenti, flat little tarts of crisp buttery pastry sandwiched around tangy fruit jam.  And those brutti ma buoni cookies were absolute heaven.

matt-eating-pizza

Pizza On Every Street Does Not Mean EAT Pizza On Every Street. Or Don’t Let That Supplì Go To Waste.

Pizza Culture in Rome was quite different than what I am used to. Because of this I needed to stop several times throughout the day and sample as much Pizza al Taglio  as I could fit into my mouth. These large, long pieces of pizza are cut to order, depending on how much or little you want. A favorite was Broccoli e Salsiccia and Marinara with anchovies. Wrapped up in paper, these square pieces of pizza would have satisfied my hunger perfectly had I ever been hungry. I never was and I wonder why.

wine-and-bar

You Needn’t Stop In Every Wine Bar In Rome Just Because You Can.

I told myself that between photographing the ancient ruins and walking for miles that I worked up a wicked thirst that could not be quenched by water but only special grapes that have been pressed, aged, bottled and served in glasses with stems. And my god my little self-lie worked! Each day there were quick visits to local wine bars, some hip and trendy and some just regular spots. I stuck to Italians the entire trip (natch!) and not once made notes of what I drank. Sad, isn’t it? Guess I must return and do it all over again, this time with pencil and paper.

Fruits-&-Vegetables

Overloading On Fruits & Vegetables Doesn’t Count As Gluttony. Or Does It?

And that is because they are good for you! And you know what makes them better? When they’re battered and fried.  Let’s just say I became close friends with lots of Fritto Misto. And yes, I’d do it all over again in a second. Now if you’ll excuse me I must unbutton my pants.

Thanks to my friend Kristina for the piggish photo of me licking an anchovy off my lip. More Italy to come shortly!