Yesterday I shared a few pictures from our time in Rome last week, but the best thing that we did while we were there was....a food tour! We went with a company called The Roman Foodie (the sister company of The Roman Guy, a popular tour operator in Rome).
The first time that Ryan and I went to Rome together, two years ago, we crammed everything into three days: the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, St. Peter's and the Vatican museum, the Borghese Gallery....and then we needed a vacation from our vacation. This time we were excited to try something a little different and to appreciate Rome through its food.
We did the Trastevere Locals Food Tour which was fun for us because we stayed in Trastevere this trip and it was fun to explore our neighborhood in greater depth. There were six stops on the tour: we started at a cheese shop where we tried all different kinds of cheese including Pecorino, Parmesan, a cheese made with saffron that was bright yellow (!), buffalo mozzarella and my personal favorite, Burrata. Burrata is type of mozzarella; when it's being made, they cut the mozzarella ball open and put smaller pieces of mozzarella and cream inside and then tie it up again. When you cut into it, it's the most creamy, delicious thing you can imagine. We learned that it's originally from the region of Puglia - where we were headed after Rome - so we were excited to be on the right track.
Then we headed to a tiny restaurant that primarily makes baccala. Baccala is cod fish - up north, in Cortina, we eat it creamed, with rice or polenta. So we were surprised to find that in Rome, rather than being a main course, it's a street food! It's one of the only foods that Italians take to go and eat while they walk. In Rome, they fry the baccala and it's eaten in paper napkins.
It was fun to wander around Trastevere, stopping at tiny places with delicious food - and the weather was great, so that was a plus!
My favorite stop was a place called TASTEvere (ha). It was a tiny cafe/shop selling and cooking with only local foods. Everything was so fresh - we tried various meats and cheeses, crostini topped with an arugula paste, cauliflower hummus and fresh raspberry and apple juices. If I lived in Rome, I would have gone there every day.
Then it was on to a popular neighborhood spot, Trattoria da Teo, for Roman pastas. But first! A fried artichoke - my favorite - so I got to have two during our stay in Rome. Then we tried the two famous pastas, Cacio e Pepe (which is just cheese and lots of black pepper) and Amatriciana. Both of these pastas are so simple which is typical of Roman dishes and Italian food in general. (And this article in the New York Times was fascinating about the secret to Roman pastas).
Appropriately so, we ended the tour with gelato. Ryan had a fantastic lemon/basil flavor which was so refreshing and would be perfect for a hot summer day (actually it was perfect after an evening of great food too!).
Ryan and I weren't sure if we were "tour" people, since we generally like to do our own thing, but this was a fun way to see Rome in a different - and delicious - light, and we were really glad that we tried it.
You can check out The Roman Foodie's website here (and The Roman Guy's here) - and if you're in Rome in need of a tour, think about this one!