Here it is, Italian Eating, part two.
I know you’ve all been waiting on pins and needles. Here’s the rest of the countdown:
5. Pasticceria Trastevere
There are delicious bakeries all over Italy. All over the world.
But man. Trastevere does sweets, among a million other things, oh so right.
This was the first stop on our food tour, and we sampled sweets from a charming woman named Vera, who has in fact, been been running this pasticceria in the heart of Trastevere since the 1970s. We ate bignè, choux pastry buns filled with zabaglione cream. Then we went back the next day for more.
4. Crème Brûlée
Okay, I know this quickly-snapped phone picture sucks. It definitely does not do this dessert justice, because honestly, it was the best dessert I ate in Italy, and in such a small dish! It’s different than traditional crème brûlée, as their is no caramelized sugar on top. But it’s creamy and delicious. After eating it, I agreed with a fellow tour-goer who lamented, “Well, I could eat about six more of those.”
Oh, and did I mention that we got to visit the wine cellar below the building, which was historically the oldest synagogue in Rome? You can read more about the amazing history here.
On another stop of our food tour, we met Piero who, operating in another family-owned business, served us the most delicious slice of meat: porchetta, which is pork that has been stuffed with herbs and slow roasted.
(Note: Seattleites, you can try DELICIOUS porchetta in the city. Read more here.)
The meat was topped on pizza bianca.
Let’s play that game “If You Could Only Eat One Thing On a Desert Island” game, ’cause I’d FOR SURE say porchetta. It’s salty, tender, and incredible.
I’m all about street food. Whether in NY or LA, I think street food gives you a nice taste of an area’s basic food culture. (In fact, it’s a topic I’m so interested in that I attended a lecture on campus about it earlier this year – watch it here). Supplì is a basic Roman street food, essentially a deep-fried ball of rice and tomato sauce and mozzarella…and goodness. It’s a variation of the arancini, a food of Sicilian origin, and is known often as ‘supplì al telefono’ because of the mozzarella string that resembles a telephone cord when eaten. Oh boy, I could eat and eat and eat Supplì. It’s warm and crunchy and filling. Another food tour stop that we returned to enjoy again the next day.
1. BOLOGNA (!!!)
Number one is actually a city in Italy where we had a meal. To be more specific, the BEST MEAL OF OUR LIVES. That is not an exaggeration. It has been daydreamed about ever since the last bites were taken. If you didn’t know, Bologna is a city in Italy regarded for its culinary tradition, and for popular dishes like the traditional ragù alla bolognese, as well as for lasagna and tortellini served in broth. We stopped here on our way back from Rome to Milan at the end of our trip, and it was certainly two hours well-spent. After some research, we identified one of the best-rated restaurants in the city, Al Sangiovese. It was located away from the city center, on a quiet street without any flash. And it was there that we ate the best and most Italian meal of our lives. Feast your eyes.
Hands down, the best bites I have ever put into my mouth. *cue angel choir*
This was the chef’s cake, a Nutella cake with mascarpone. Before ordering dessert, we asked the woman taking our order which one was best. “All of them, because I made them!” she replied. Of course. And she was right. Everything was DIVINE.
Excuse me, going to move to Italy now.