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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Eating fresh and local in Rome

As much as I've been dedicating my energies to promoting Etruscan tourism around Rome (and an exciting 6th Century B.C. vase on display in Cerveteri, repratriated from The Met in New York),  food tourism seems to be a lot more relevant lately. This year's theme of the World's Fair being held in Milan is "Feeding the Planet" designed to raise awareness about the effects of industrial farming on the environment. The fair itself left a lot to be desired, comprised of elaborate pavilions for each country with very little information. The best pavilions in my opinion were from Brazil, a pavilion that involved hiking a tarp to get inside, and the Israel pavilion dedicated to their invention of the drip irrigation system.

The United States pavilion at Milan's World's Fair, serving the all American lobster roll

The Vietnam pavilion at Milan's World's Fair 
There was an entire section of the World's Fair dedicated to the movement of Slow Food, best summarized as the opposite of fast food. The movement began in Italy in the 1980's as an attempt to get the rest of the world to cook and eat like the Italians, with fresh and local ingredients. Despite the Italian reputation as such, the historic center of Rome is suffering as it concerns the production and service of quality and healthy food. Only two restaurants inside the city walls have been given the "snail of approval" from the Slow Food association in recognition of following the slow food philosophy of freshly made, locally grown, affordable food.

Please see a recent guest blog post I wrote for Hosted Villas about Hostaria Grappolo D'Oro located behind Rome's oldest outdoor food market, Campo di Fiori. -article link  
The owners not only have the "snail of approval" but are involved in leading food tours in the neighborhood teaching about local dining and food shopping customs.

My favorite appetizer at Grappolo D'Oro, a unique interpretation of "panzanella"

A winter and spring favorite in Rome, puntarelle salad, found only in Rome and served to perfection Grappolo D'Oro 

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