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Jun 5, 2010 08:17 AM

Rome's local food, so says The NYTimes

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  1. Good work, Katie!

    Many thanks for posting.

    7 Replies
    1. re: erica

      Thanks! Of course those are just some of the places where you can eat foods prepared with Lazio's bounty AND shop for the same local ingredients. there are other places where you can do this like Citta dell'Altra Economia, Roma Farmer's Market, and Mercato di Campagna Amica at the Circus Maximus, to name a few.

      1. re: katieparla

        Thanks for the insider's tips. You raise the question of local vs superlocal, I guess: having seen crates of Puglian, Campanian, and Sicilian produce at various Roman markets, never wondered about more local sources. OTOH, Naples is only 120 miles from Rome, and I suspect atleats some Roman tomato lovers would prefer to buy true san marzanos from, say, Nola, or the best pacchini from Sicily. Or those great artichokes from Paestum. Katie?

        1. re: bob96

          We certainly enjoyed absolutely delicious tomatoes from Campania (smallish, with a point) in Bergamo/early July a couple of years ago - anything local would have been from a greenhouse at that time of year.

          1. re: bob96

            We've been alternating lately between the Testaccio market and the farmers' market near the Circus Maximus. The latter has fabulous quality, but you realize that there are items essential to our diet that don’t come from around here. We almost never eat food that isn't grown in Italy, but our oranges come from Sicily, for example, and so do our tomatoes except in summer. We get artichokes from Puglia and Sardinia for months before with get the local ones. BTW Pachino (one c) is the name of a town in southeastern Sicily, not the name of a tomato, and thus has no plural. There are at least four different IGP tomato types grown in the Pachino area. The most famous is a kind of cherry tomato, hence the common misuse of the term as a generic synonym for cherry tomato (ciliegino). You see "pachini" written, but it's wrong.

            1. re: mbfant

              A couple of questions: the last reference I read about the farmers market at Circus Maximus said it would be held through June. Has it been extended to July? Also, is the Citta dell'Altra Economia worth visiting for a tourist? Anything particularly notable there?

            2. re: bob96

              bob96, you are absolutely right. there is plenty of produce in Roman markets that comes from outside of Lazio. Maureen's response goes into greater detail. i would say that there are some consumers who would seek out san marzano or pachino tomatoes, but many are satisfied with what is cheapest or most available. this is an unfortunate trend. not everyone in italy seeks out seasonal, high quality, or local produce.

              Ruth, I went to the Circus Maximus farmer's market last weekend and spoke with some of the vendors who said they may extend the market into july but the decision had not yet been made. they also said the market will resume in September after a summer break.

              if you are interested in food or urban renewal, i think the Citta dell'Altra economia is an interesting place to visit. Shops, a restaurant, a bar, exhibition spaces, and a conference center all occupy the area in Rome's former slaughterhouse. The slaughterhouse was very large and you will also find the Macro Future (a venue for contemporary art exhibits) and the Roma Farmer's Market (Saturdays and Sundays) in other parts of it.

              1. re: katieparla

                Thanks, Katie! Since we'll be staying in an apartment in Testaccio, it will be easy to check out Citta dell'Altra economia.