Fresh squeezed pomegranate juice. Pici noticed how much less astringent it is here than in Turkey and that's because they use fancier juicers in Europe that separate the purple nectar from the seedy pulp. In the Middle East and Turkey, we often drink it blended with the seeds and pith.
Dinner at Mazzo out in Centocelle. Rösti with Romanesco (also known as Roman broccoli or cauliflower).
Fried snails in potato dashi.
Torglioni alla Genovese.
Tataki of beef from Piedmont.
Incredible pizza at Gabriele Bonci's Pizzarium. We went nuts.
Lunch for two.
The potato and mozzarella one recommended most enthusiastically by the staff looks like boredom stuffed with blah. It was insane.
Imagine pizza bianca having a pillow fight with butter and olive oil in a heaven made entirely of cheese.
There are no seats so you have to eat standing up, often sharing what little surface area is available for trays. A couple standing near us was intrigued by the reaction we had to this odd yellow pizza so we ended up sharing some with them. They agreed it was the bomb diggity.
Photos do no justice, predictably. Each slice was larger than it appears; about the size of my palm.
Skipped the Vatican for a pilgrimage to a fantastic little deli called La Tradizione (di Belli e Fantucci). Anchovies from Cantabrico, which I've always wanted to try but they're super hard to find. And over one hundred dollars a kilo as you can see. These were salt-packed, rinsed by hand and then stored under olive oil. I bought four and we ate them, as is, on the sidewalk just outside. Wow.
Final dinner in Italy was at Roscioli. We had fallen for the place over aperitivi the night before, but honestly the food was a mess.
"Mouthful" of buffalo mozzarella from Paestum, Cantabrican anchovies, Taggiasche olives and a lemony herb oil the salumeria invented and calls "trombolotto".
Fried fresh anchovies.
Mortadella and Parmesan from Red cows. Nothing special.
And the place's inexplicably famous Pugliese burrata, which was snotty, squeaky... A weird wet letdown.
Also the Cantabrican anchovies here weren't nearly as good as the ones we had eaten earlier on the sidewalk.
The legendary carbonara was a mushy white nightmare.
And that's it.
Aside from getting detained at US Customs in Dublin for declaring a perfectly legal cheese that was allowed through after much ado, our return trip was uneventful.
Salute and salve.