Flavors of Italie > Cuisine of Latium > Cuisine of Rome
Wine, olive oil, sausages and cheese are the treasures of this land and the ingredients of a genuine culinary tradition of peasant origins.
In the area of Cerveteri, tasty Roman artichokes are grown, while the surroundings of Nemi are famous for their delicious wild strawberries.
Bread is a specialty of Lariano and Genzano; porchetta (whole roasted pig) has its home in Ariccia, where it is eaten in the typical Roman taverns called "fraschette;" and cherries are produced in Palombara Sabina.
The typical dishes of Lazio are the same as the universally-known dishes of Roman cuisine: bucatini all'amatriciana, prepared using the famous guanciale (a type of bacon) cut into cubes; rigatoni alla carbonara; spaghetti with cheese and pepper (cacio e pepe); and penne all’arrabbiata.
Also, vegetable and legume soups prepared with beans, broad beans, chickpeas and lentils are typical of the Roman countryside.
Among meat dishes, abbacchio (lamb) is the true champion, but also typical are coda alla vaccinara (oxtail), tripe and pajata.
Saltimbocca alla Romana is a famous Roman dish, consisting of veal with prosciutto and sage, found in every trattoria in Rome.
A cheese typical of Lazio is pecorino: sheep's milk cheese with an intense flavor, often added to pasta dishes or eaten in slivers.
Baked goods are simple and fragrant; bread, such as that from Genzano, has been accredited IGT status. As well, biscuits such as tozzetti and mostaccioli, wine doughnuts and the famous Pupazza di Frascati are all common treats.
Among other products are chestnuts, broad beans, peaches, figs and olives.
Have you ever tasted Romanesco cabbage, which looks more like an alien artifact than a vegetable? It's actually an ancient variety that was grown exclusively around Rome - hence its name.
In the Roman countryside you'll find many "carciofi" (artichoke) farmers. In Rome you can sample them Roman style (alla Romana) in a typical side dish that incorporates lemon, oil, garlic and herbs such as mint and parsley.
Also popular are "carciofi alla giudia," Jewish-style artichokes, a traditional fried preparation that results in artichokes that are crispy outside and melt-in-your-mouth tender inside.
Rome is famous for its "gelati" (ice creams), but when it comes to sweets, don't neglect "maritozzi" (raisin buns), "bignès" (cream puffs), fruit and nut cake with rum (called "pan giallo"), and a flan made with sweet liqueurs called "zuppa inglese" (neither English nor a soup!).
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