My bathroom scales will attest to how much I have consumed in Rome.
I have spent much of my time alternating between darting up and down the Seven Hills on a mad carb-rush (post-pasta), and wandering giddily from bench to bench in need of post feed sit down.
It’s fair to say, the Romans know how to eat well.
But, you need to know what to eat and you need to know where to eat it. Here's the first of many guides written by yours truly on what to eat in Rome:
TOP FIVE STREET FOODS TO TRY IN ROME
1. Pizza Bianca
Romans get terribly sniffy about this stuff if you attempt to call it a focaccia. Even if it is very similar. It literally translates as ‘white pizza’; thin and fluffy, with a crispy layer on top covered in course salt granuals. Ask for it drizzled with oil at a Paneteria
Where: Forno Campo de’ Fiori. A long illustrious history of giving the people what they want. Beautifully oily, salty bread.
2. Panino con porchetta
This puts our classic ‘limp, water-pumped sausage slapped between two slices of white hovis' to shame. Porchetta is a fatty pork, with layers of stuffing, fat and skin rolled together and roasted over a spit roast fire, usually served between two slices of soft, fresh bread or a crusty roll. It is most commonly associated (and produced) in Ariccia, a town close to Rome though this porky sandwich has since become a Roman specialty.
Where: This is a common snack or lunchtime sandwich throughout the city, but for the best head to Mercato Trionfale and find yourself a knife-wielding ‘porchettari’ (literally porchetta man) who specialises in this IGP protected product. All for around €3
A hot pocket of heaven. This is a quintessentially Roman delicacy, fairly similar to Sicily's arrancini, though differing in size and ingredients. The Roman suppli is a ball of rice, filled with ragu and mozzarella, and lightly fried.
Where: You’ll find these savoury snacks at most Rosticceria or Pizzeria around Rome, but if you’re in Trastevere, head to I Suppli.
4. Pizza al Taglio
It’s no secret that Romans like their Pizza. You’ll find it cooked in two ways here - pizza tonda (round pizza), which is cooked in a wood oven, and served as a meal. Pizza al taglio is sold by the slice. It’s usually cooked in electric ovens and is available from around midday to midnight, making it the perfect snack for those on the move.
Where: La Renella Bakery in Trastevere. It’s worth entering for the smell alone.
For a sweet treat try this decadent breakfast bun. A maritozzi con la panna is a sort of raisin studded bun (not dissimilar to a brioche), sliced in half and filled with enough whipped cream to warrant a pie-in-face slapstick sketch.
Where: These are a common Roman pastry but those at Regoli Pasticceria are renowned. They also recently celebrated their centenary anniversary, a testament to how good their simple but surprisingly moreish their buns are.