One of the thousands of reasons traveling to the city of Rome is so rewarding is the food. And many foods are regional, meaning there are many culinary specialties from Rome that you won’t find anywhere else in Italy. Here are ten can’t miss, sink-your-teeth-into delectables for you to savor while in Rome…
1. Roman-Style Pizza
Pizza in Rome is nothing like you’ll find anywhere else in Italy. First off, the crust is super thin and lightly charred in a wood fired oven, giving the pizza a unique flavor and texture. In Rome, pizza is typically served “napoletana” (or topped with tomato, mozzarella, anchovies and oil).
2. Suppli al Telefono
If you’re looking for a cheat and satisfying snack, Suppli al Teleforno are melted mozzarella balls that are deep-fried with rice and readily available in most pizzerias and bars.
3. Pizza Bianca
Or literally “white pizza” doesn’t sound fancy, but you might decide it’s your staple while in Rome. This soft, crispy baked foccacia bread pizza is made using no tomato sauce, but instead only olive oil, salt and, occasionally herbs (i.e., rosemary sprigs). Pizza bianca can be purchased at bakeries all over the city.
4. Saltimbocca alla Romana
A deliciously-meaty dish of veal medallions wrapped in prosciutto and sage is traditionally Roman. And since the name translates to “hop-in-the-mouth”, you’ll likely be enjoying it often while visiting the city it originates from.
This salty, crispy, fried snack is oh-so-good, particularly when it encases baccala (seafood), suppli (rice balls), or fiori di zucca (zucchini).
Carciofi, which are young artichokes, are prepared Roman-style in the spring, by flattening, deep-frying or baking them with garlic and mint.
If you want to start a heated argument in Rome, go ahead and ask someone on the street, “Who makes the best Carbonara in the city?” This dish is a traditional Roman pasta dish, made from a creamy sauce of raw eggs, cheese (typically Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano), bacon (or pancetta), and black pepper, and topping spaghetti pasta.
8. Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe
This simple yet totally satisfying spaghetti dish is made using only pecorino romano cheese and peppers. It’s typically served as a lunchtime pasta dish.
9. Quinto Quarto
Quinto Quarto, which translates to “the fifth quarter”, comes from the Testaccio area of Rome, where Europe’s largest slaughterhouse once existed, and where slaughterhouse workers were often paid with meat off-cuts—such as sheep intestine, tripe, and tongue—or what they referred to them “Quinto Quarto” and served with tomato sauce and cheese over various pasta.
10. Offal-Style Oxtail Stew
Similar offal-style dishes of the same discarded meat vein, included Coda alla Vaccinara (oxtail stew), which cooks up the sweetmeats, entrails, and other discarded parts with rustic veggies in a savory stew.