One of the things we love about Italy is the food! Who doesn’t love a good pizza or simple pasta?!
We decided to book ourselves on a food tour whilst in Rome. We booked through Viator and did the Rome Food Walking Tour.
This tour was based in the suburb of Testaccio which was around 15 minutes taxi journey from the city centre. Known to locals as the “heart of Rome”, Testaccio is the city’s original foodie neighbourhood and where cucina romana (roman cuisine) was born.
As soon as we got out of the car you immediately felt you were mixing with the locals and completely away from the tourists.
We found our tour guide, Kate was originally from Nottingham but has been living in Italy for 15 years after a 3 month work experience trip. Our group was small including another couple from the UK, America, Sydney and Germany.
We had a total of 9 stops and sampled a LOT of food along the way. We tried verdure in pastella (seasonal veg, battered and fried), lots of cheese, prosciutti that melted in your mouth, salami, balsamic vinegar (the thicker, the older it is). We went to the local market and met vendors who have been there for generations where we made our own tomato bruschetta with buffalo mozzeralla plus suppli (which is like aranchini) and Italian craft beer. We also stopped at a local restaurant and sampled 3 types of pasta dishes washed down with plenty of wine!
Things we learnt from the food tour included:
- Never order a cappuccino after lunchtime – Italians believe that having a milky coffee so late in the day will cause havoc with your digestion
- Speaking of coffee, if you go to a cafe, have your coffee standing up rather than sitting down…they will charge you more to sit down!
- Make sure you only eat REAL gelato (ice-cream) – 75% of it in Rome is the fake kind so if you see huge tall mountains of brightly coloured gelato is likely to be fake. It’s easy to spot the real stuff once you know how. If you see a banana flavour, it should be white rather than bright yellow…you don’t eat the skin of the banana do you! Mint is also likely to be white rather than green as ‘real’ stuff is made with mint essence.
- If you want a good Italian pizza, then opt to have it in the evening. A good pizza will be made in a wood-fired oven and these are usually only fired up in the evening. Chances are that if you have a pizza in the day it might be a frozen one!
The food tour was definitely one of our highlights from the trip and would recommend it!
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