Thursday, 15 October 2009

When in Rome...

You may be wondering how I've made that box of free vegetables last so long. Well, the truth is, I haven't. I wish I could say that I had pioneered some new ground-breaking food storage technique, which will revolutionise the way we keep perishable food items and ultimately help bring an end to world hunger (well, doesn't everybody?), but sadly I can't.

No, the fact is, I finished them up yonks ago. I just haven't updated yet! But there is a reason for this. I have been away with work, which took me to Rome of all places. And anybody who is even half as greedy and one-track-minded when it comes to food as I am will know that this is one of the very best places to be when you are looking for something good to eat.

The reason that I know this is that Mr. Other P and I had the fortune (or misfortune, depending on your perspective) of spending a week there several years ago when the weather was mostly bad. For him - a sun worshiper - a tragedy! For me - bliss! More reason to go off in search of delicious food - hurrah!

Now, I like pasta and pizza just as much as you do. I make risotto on a near-weekly basis, and think I'm pretty good at getting it right (clean plates every time, you see...). I love coffee, and cantuccini, and always slip a bottle of limoncello and/or (usually and...) whatever wine I fancy into my suitcase when I have the good fortune to be in Italy. But the one thing I crave the most, miss terribly when I leave, is perhaps the only thing you cannot bring home.

Ice-cream.

Or, let's be fancy, gelato. Madonna was right: Italians do it better. Although, I don't think she was talking about ice-cream, but you never know. I've had good honey ice-cream in Aberaeron, amazing vanilla in Penzance, and, what do you know, a terrific green tea and ginger sundae in Manchester, but none of them compare to what you can get on almost any street corner in Italy.

On this most recent trip, my colleague, Almudena, expressed my feelings about Roman ice-cream perfectly, when, exhausted from walking we slumped down on a bench to empty the paper cups we'd just had filled with our chosen flavours (for what it's worth, I like the fruits; she's strictly a chocolate and nuts kinda girl).

'The ice-creams in Milan are nice,' she sighed. 'But the ones in Rome...'

Exactly.

I knew what I had to do. The next day I took her to an unassuming little bar in Trastevere, which Mr. Other P and I uncovered on one of our few fair weather days sight-seeing. It's not fancy. It isn't even labelled as a gelateria. But the owner makes his own ice-cream, using fresh, organic milk and eggs. Or so the small notice, handwritten on shocking green cardboard in the window proclaims. But tasting is believing. We still talk about those ice-creams.

I won't lie to you. He's a bit of an ice-cream fascist, and if the flavours don't go together, he won't serve them (thus I was not allowed melon and hazelnut, whereas Mr. Other P was applauded for his choice of pear and dark chocolate). But the stuff is so good you won't care.

This time, I too ordered pear and dark chocolate. And I implore you to do the same, should you ever be lucky enough to step inside the place. I know you'll thank me; Almudena did!

You can find the miracle gelato at 14. via della Lungara, Roma. Cross the river at Ponte Mazzini, and go down the steps.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Mr P... Again, loving the blog! I have a question and need your expert advice please...!

    You say you make risotto on a near weekly basis... I've never made it for a dinner party before, but am thinking of making it on Wednesday as am having the ladies round. Do you think it will be enough as a main course on its own or should I do it as a side dish? If I do it as a side dish it can't be with meat...
    Any ideas welcome please!
    Thanks, Helen x

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  2. Uh-oh.

    I need to set this so I get alerts when comments appear Helen. I just got that now.

    Hope it was good! xxx

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

That's what he said.

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