When in Rome, Eat Roman
Rome is a city of ancient structures, dramatic history, and crumbling relics. It’s probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think about food – or even Italian food. But in the past year, 3 new cookbooks centred on Roman food have been published, and it could just be the next big food trend...
Those who are interested in international food jobs might want to pay close attention to this cuisine, which certainly appears to be on the rise. It’s also something that will interest those currently training for the food industry, particularly those who are looking for chef jobs. Could this be the start of a new trend in the restaurants of the UK? Keep an eye on Focus Management Consultants if you want to grab these new job opportunities as they arise.
You might not know that gnocchi is traditionally eaten on a Thursday, or even that Rome has different food styles to the rest of Italy. Read on to get an insight from the 3 cooks bringing it to your cookbook shelf.
As a native of Rome, Galasso wants to make sure that people know more about the food of her city.
“Rome, for quite a while, has been about quarrels and Berlusconi. There hasn’t been much room for food,” she says. “It’s a city of great contradictions. The film La Grande Bellezza, which came out a few years ago, portrayed Rome in decline while we partied regardless. It upset people. Romans do see the city as their living room and don’t always value it. But it’s a kind of bravado. We’re also down to earth – and Roman food, which is simple, anchors us.”
Her new cookbook, As The Romans Do, is all about the food of her beloved city. Here she aims to show the best of the city with beautiful and hearty recipes. She focuses on reducing the amount of ingredients in her dishes to make them easy for cooks around the world to recreate.
She may be an American, but Parla has lived in Rome for more than 13 years, working as a journalist and also a guide. It’s clear that she adores the city, and this certainly comes through in her new book, Tasting Rome.
She’s particularly concerned about the state of the restaurant industry in Rome, and wants to draw attention to the situation. She fears it could be a dire one as time goes on.
“There’s always been bad food in Rome, but the high rents nowadays make it difficult for restaurateurs to keep standards up. On the plus side, young Roman chefs who’ve been working elsewhere have returned and are opening new restaurants, wine bars, craft beer pubs and cocktail bars,” she says.
Married to an Italian and with a young son, Roddy is the perfect introduction for a family who want to try Roman food. Her book, Five Quarters: Recipes and Notes From a Kitchen in Rome is more positive than Parla’s view. She believes that, while industrialisation may be a problem, traditions in Rome are still strong. She also feels that you can see the history of the city through the food served on its tables.
“If you look at a typical Roman menu,” says Roddy, “you have the story of Rome and its people: the grilled lamb and rosemary of the Etruscans, the chickpea soup and anchovies of the ancient Romans, the offal of the slaughterhouse workers. This continues today with the hip natural-wine guys who want us to return to farmers’ wine. It’s all part of an evolving story.”