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Nov 6, 2006 07:44 PM

Home Food

Has anyone used the services of Home Food on thier trips to Italy. This is where you can register to eat in the home of a Cesarina to have a real home cooked Italian meal? I would be interested in your experiences. I tried it in Rome, but wanted to see how it was in other places beofre I post my experience.

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  1. I think I read about this in Gourmet or another food magazine and it sounded so interesting. Please tell us your experiences!! Please!

    1 Reply
    1. It was in the Italian (2nd?)episode in Diary of a Foodie on PBS.

      1 Reply
      1. Thank you for your replies. Indeed, Gourmet did have a mention in June, then a feature article in the September issue. Also, they ran a feature on their PBS program that was fairly representative, sans the trip to the market with the Cesarina. I feel badly about posting the following critique as I strongly support the program and will have another go on my next trip to Italy. I tried to be fairly balanced, but I thought the organizers should get some feedback, yea or nay. I would have been just as willing to post if the meal were spectacular. Home Food did get back to me with a nice response and a promise to look into it. As I said, I would give it another try. Text of my feedback to Home Food:

        Thank you for responding to my inquiry for feedback as well as helping us with our arrangements for dinner in early September with [the] Cesarina -------- in Rome. You were extremely timely in your responses and the arrangements were exactly on time before our departure. In addition, our documents were waiting for us at our hotel in Rome.

        The Cesarina's 17th century apartment on the Via Condotti was well-located and resplendent with artifacts, artwork, and furniture from her family. Sra. --------- and her husband, -------, were certainly accommodating, gracious, and friendly. We and the other guests felt welcome at their home.

        The food, however, left much to be desired. While the ingredients seemed to be of good quality, the preparation lacked the passion, seasoning, and thoughtfulness from Italian home cooking that we were expecting. For example, the ricotta and chard tart was clearly store-bought and foil-wrapped salametti was less than an appetizing appetizer. The ceci and
        pasta was tasteless as was the main course, chicken and peppers. The dessert, an overdone chocolate cake, was mostly left on the plates. None of the other guests asked for recipes, not should you include any of hers in your upcoming book. The "carefully chosen" wine was a second-rate Frascati
        that seemed to go from the box to the water pitcher.

        As a first generation Italian-American, I was expecting food equal to what my mother and grandmother made. This fell short of their food. I have tried to gather other input from a posting on, but have received
        no response. I did not want to post a negative review after only one visit, but would be sincerely interested in other people's experiences. I intend to give Home Food another try, but in another city. This visit, outside of some
        of the antiques in the apartment, was not memorable.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Pendolino

          An article in this month's Food & Wine magazine mentions this service and I jumped on it because I'm going to Italy in May and thought it sounded cool. I'm so disappointed to hear this report. I know you said you'd try it again, but I'd love to hear from someone who has had a good experience before I sign up. I'm going to both Tuscan and Rome and it looks like their are a couple "events" in each area. Please let me hear from you. Thanks.

          1. re: Pendolino

            This IS a disappointment. Having read the article in Gourmet's Sept issue I too was eager to try it. I still may, but here is my problem, which I am hoping one of you can help me solve. I signed up to be a member on the Home Food site, and filled out the questionnaire, but I couldn't submit it because no matter what format I entered my phone number in it kept rejecting it. (It's my understanding that they give applicants a phone call to interview them before one is accepted??). Pendolino or others who have succeeded in navigating the homefood site, can you give me some pointers? Also, the first time I looked they had a list of events through early October, but now they are showing only April and maybe May. What gives?