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Characteristics of Roman Cuisine | Print |  E-mail
Written by Antonio Violante   
Saturday, 01 March 2014 15:59

Roman Cuisine Typical Characteristics

When on a tour to Rome the least of a tourist's worries should be food or a good eatery. Yes, Rome is not only famous for its breathtaking sites and rich history. There are many good quality eating places from pizzerias and trattorias (that are run by families and have been operating for many years with good reputations to back them), to more hip and fancy restaurants. Roman cuisine is known to satisfy hunger with its savory flavors and simplicity. It is full of flavor and offers many mouth-watering dishes for many tastes.

Roman cuisine is deeply rooted in traditions and reflects the past through natural ingredients. It mainly consists of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the region and this is mainly artichoke. Whether it is simmered in garlic, olive oil, mint or deep fried. Quinto quarto also known as innards are less expensive meat cuts cooked in chili pepper and herbs. Tasty and deep appetizers like stuffed zucchini and salted cod are common trademarks of roman food. Pecorino cheese which is extracted from sheep milk is a very used ingredient for a number of recipes.

Pasta certainly qualifies as the Italian staple food and has been for many centuries. Spaghetti aje o ojo' and 'carbonara,' are some of the common loved pasta dishes. They are simple to make and effective and have better taste when garlic, chili pepper and olive oil are added. Olive oil is a major component of roman cooking. It is impossible to come across a dish that has no olive oil in it. Most of these ingredients don't require long preparation hours.

Herbs are a compulsory part of it and they bring out the homemade, genuine and tasty flavors. Sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, bay leaves and many others are always put to use in a way or the other. Bread is an important element in a Roman meal. In the past bakers were regarded very highly in society for their skill this signifying the importance of bread. Roman cuisine is said to have taken its humble flavors from a culture of leftovers. Whatever was not suitable for the cardinals and princes was offered to the lower class people and they would make a feast out of it. Much has evolved though and some of what was cooked back then is not to be found nowadays.

Soup is yet another trademark of Roman cuisine. Soup is accompanied by bread, meat or fish pieces and cheese. There are many soups made from garlic, carrots, celery, parsley and onions, legumes, vegetables or any other ingredient that one prefers. Soups are really easy to make and aren't restricted to ingredients. Desserts are also an important element. Crustulae and ricotta (which is made of sheep milk) are favorite desserts. Ricotta is consumed fresh as a dessert on its own. It is used to make homemade creams to fill cake, pastries, bocconotti, flavored ricotta and ricotta pudding. It is also used on toast and bread as spread, as a dipping for cafe' latte, as a snack for kids and as a replacement for cheese during meals.

You may also be interested in: First Time to Rome Vacation Planner - available on Amazon

Pictured below is an example of Pasta Alla Carbonara - Photo Attribution: By Ed Hawco (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons



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