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ROME..Trip report with emphasis on food..January 2007

ROME..Trip report with emphasis on food..January 2007

Old Feb 12th, 2007, 12:39 PM
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ek, sorry - I don't know any of Fred Plotkin's books, and since I should know books that I'm supposed to have written myself, I guess I'm not Fred Plotkin.

Making your own liquamen is indeed easy - a matter of 15 minutes, at the most. You know, should you ever plan on trying it, where to ask for recipes...

And I realize that I failed to add the most appropriate information on crema di carciofi: perhaps because this information is actually fitting into this thread's original topic, and I'm taking pride in being always off-topic... seriously, if you want to taste really, really excellent Farfalle con Crema di Carciofi, there is a (rather surprising) place to do so in Rome: Al Presidente, two steps from the Trevi fountain (so normally, a big no-no - tourists alert!!). This, very surprisingly, is a very good restaurant, though of course not cheap (rather, on the contrary), and I whole-heartedly commend their crema di carciofi.
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 12:55 PM
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Eks,

I was wondering whether you could recommend a good restaurant in Trastevere--either one that you have personal experience with or one that you have done research on.

I have to thank you for all of the great recommendations so far. My husband and I will be in Rome and Florence in Sept (which you probably know because you've already answered many of our posts) and we have religiously been printing out this trip report and the one from Florence, Tuscany. Thanks for all the advice so far and getting me addicted to this site!
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 01:43 PM
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You are very welcome, Greene. Unfortunately I have no recommendations for Trastevere but I would suggest looking at the SlowFood website and asking Franco here, who is not Fred Plotkin, by the way. I could look at my lists but having not tried the places, I feel odd about recommending them. Well, here is one SlowFood choice for that area that I happen to have on the list next to my seat here:

Dal Cordero, Pzza. Portuense, 4
I know there are others in Trastevere among their Rome listings. If you have trouble with their site, let me know and I will see if I can get the names for you.



Franco, I hope you are not peeved at me for my outrageous speculations. You are not Fred Plotkin; you are your own person and a fascinating one at that!
Thank you for the tip on the restaurant. I am happy that you are still willing to recommend places to me since I failed to heed your advice in Rome recently!
I LOVE anything to do with artichokes so will put that one on my list for certain. And I think I will attempt to make my own crema di carciofi soon; the only problem is that we do not get so many good fresh artichokes here although they are available much of the year. Frankly, they are a little bit of an aggravation to prepare but how can I say that with a straight face when you are toiling away in your own kitchen on all of these amazing recipes!

So please, no hard feelings..about Fred or about the opera cape idea....eks.

ps, Do you know any good places in Trastevere?
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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Peeved, not at all. I always enjoy our communications, honestly! As for your artichokes problem, the solution is quite easy: next time, you'll have to spend two weeks in Rome, and rent an apartment - one week of restaurant dining, one week of home-cooking... Needless to say that Rome's markets are full of excellent artichokes.

Trastevere: I have one and a half places to recommend. Le Mani in Pasta, in Trastevere itself; and beloved Sora Lella, which is only two steps from Trastevere (i.e., crossing half the Tiber until arriving on tiny Tiber island). For details, please see my Roman food thread (I don't want to write ONLY extensive postings here): http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34792415
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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Thanks to both of you! Franco, I am going to look at your thread right now.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 11:10 AM
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Franco I am glad you are not "peeved at me for my inquisitiveness and for my outlandish speculations!
I am missing our chatter...just notice your comments about the restaurant at Ostia Antica.

Soon, I will begin a new thread in which I will begin to obsess over a new Italian destination. I am having second thoughts about the Campania idea....

Just to prolong the pleasure of our "conversations," I will ask you about bottarga. I have never tasted it and am tempted to give it a try. What are your thoughts? I can buy it here in New York; there are a few sources that seem to be not too outrageously priced. I have seen it here grated and packed in jars, and also whole and vacuum packed.

Is bottarga it mullet or tuna roe? Or both and if so, which should I ask for? And more important: 1.The taste. Fishy enough to repell certain persons who are not enthusiastic about eating fish?
2. Recommended preparations..simply shaving on top of pasta? Do you or anyone else here have favorite recipes?



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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 01:20 PM
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Yes, what a pity that this report, and the according chatter, had to come to an end... and that Eloise doesn't show up! I wonder where she may be!

Bottarga is a name for the roe of several species, most important those that you mentioned: mullet (muggine) and tuna (tonno, as no doubt you'll know). They're as different as mullet and tuna are, and both are potentially excellent... BUT: bottarga quality differs widely - two problems are common: too much salt; or a dull, fusty taste. It's normally, but only as a very general rule, preferable to buy whole pieces and grate it yourself.
Good bottarga is really excellent, so please, if you shouldn't be lucky on the first try, give it a second, and a third - you'll just need to try which one is the best.

Answering your two final questions is easy: 1. yes, 2. yes. Very fishy. And simply shaving: mix cooked spaghetti with butter (room temperature, 1 to 1.5 tablespoons per person), sprinkle with minced hot peppers (don't be stingy, it's intended to be a relatively hot dish), small quantities of pepper and salt, and finally, with the bottarga. Serve on pre-heated plates.
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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 07:01 AM
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Bringing to the top for recent poster..

Franco, thank you for the bottarga tutorial. You never cease to amaze. One of these days I am going to find an Italian ingredient so obscure that you may have to think for a full 5 minutes before answering!!

And where is Eloise?

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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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Oh, you already managed to find that ingredient - the Cetara "garum"! That one took me quite a while to research...
Yes, where's Eloise? While she showed up here on Feb. 10th last time, she posted on slowtrav (a site that I thoroughly dislike, but knowing she's active there, as well, I paid a visit recently) on the 13th... I hope all is well with her!
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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 07:55 AM
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Ok Franco..do tell...more about your opinion of SlowTrav...(???)
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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 08:08 AM
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Well, while I think the "regular" site with all the travelers' reviews is a great source of information, I don't get by with the forum - for me, it's not only over-moderated, I also think the moderators are extraordinarily dislikable. They have a way of slating users with whom they don't agree that rubs off on the posters as well... no moderating moderators indeed!
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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 08:54 AM
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Ek and Franco, you are too nice, and you are making me feel so guilty!

Iíve been lurking, on and off, but not posting. Why? Because itís been below -15 C for weeks and weeks, which has made me extremely grumpy. Whenever I started a post, it came out very mean-spirited and disagreeable. I know, I can be sharpish at the best of times, but this went beyond sharpish...

Please do keep up the conversation, and when (if?) it thaws, presumably so shall I and I shall rejoin the human race.

P.S. I agree totally with Franco about the moderators at SlowTalk. A fairly clear distinction emerges over time of sheep vs. goats, of those on the inside and those banned to the outer fringes.

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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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Eloise, mean-spirited can be ok, too! Even the best of us (!!) are guilty of that and I certainly can't blame you with that kind of cold outside. And here everyone is crying about the cold when it is a balmy 15 or so today!! Anyway, I like reading cranky comments once in a while; I certainly make more than a few on this site... And cranky or not, we've missed you!

I have to take a look around the SlowFood site just so I can see what you are both referring to. The only area I have really looked at is the restaurant review section and I did not find many of the reviews to be discriminating enough. (Now who is being mean spirited!!??)

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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 09:13 AM
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Ah, Eloise, I'm relieved that you are well (ok, apart from being grumpy - which is perfectly understandable with temperatures like those...).
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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 05:13 PM
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BKM
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Old Mar 7th, 2007, 03:47 PM
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Franco (and Eloise..where ARE you?), imagine my surprise when I opened a mail order food catalog tonight and noticed this:

http://www.zingermans.com/Product.pa...pingAddressID=
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Old Mar 7th, 2007, 04:46 PM
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Yes, it seems to become famous - no doubt thanks to our discussion on Fodor's
Just that it is not true that the method of producing the modern colatura is more or less the same as for ancient garum; we still have to get this point accepted, too...
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Old Mar 7th, 2007, 07:18 PM
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yum... thanks.
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Old Mar 8th, 2007, 04:28 AM
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...and thanks to our expert here, we already know that the methods are different!

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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 12:30 PM
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EK, I'm leaving in 2 weeks for Italy and will only be in Rome for 3 days (dinners). You're report was sooooo helpful!! If you only had 3 restaurants to go to, which of the 3 you mentioned would you say were a must? We're staying near the Termini station. Can't wait to go to the SMN and will definately scope out Pizazza di Pietra. Wish I spoke some Italian!!
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