Rome in September what to do about carciofi
I was last in Rome about 5 or 6 years ago around Easter.
I remember eating very very well.
Interestingly, I have a strong suspicion that I ate artichokes for every meal.
I don't mean as a part of every meal but literally as the "main" for almost all of them :)
I exaggerate a little but not completely - as I can remember only 2 meals that didn't "feature" artichokes.
I speak Italian, and would regale the waiters with tales of my love of artichokes and was given them in every available style. The rest of my family would order "proper meals".
Can I eat them in September when they are not in season? Will I see them on the menus and will they be as delicious as I remember?
Are there some other specialities that I will see mid-September that I will enjoy?
Thanks in advance.
In September, the impatient can eat artichokes imported from France. They are actually quite good and are also prepared alla romana. In fact, we ate them the other evening. We never buy them at the market for our own use, but we had a nice couple visiting from Turkey and wanted them to taste as many typically Roman dishes as possible. Accordingly, we made pollo coi peperoni, pasta e fagioli, and insalata caprese at home, and for a second round took them to Checco er Carettiere, which I must say was just great. There we saw a tray of carciofi alla romana, about half the size of normal carciofi and a quarter the size of full-blown romaneschi. We decided to let them try them, just to get the idea of the recipes, both alla romana and alla giudia and were from France (we asked). Well, at that point, what are you going to do? You can't tell your guests the artichokes are good enough for them but not for you. So we tasted both kinds, and they were quite delicious, and the Turks were impressed.
There's a small but vociferous contingent that thinks you should be hanged, drawn and quartered for wanting artichokes out of season, but restaurants that have carciofi alla giudea as a signature dish will have them, made with imported artichokes. Carciofi alla romana and other dishes relying on artichokes will not be available.
Zucchini and eggplant will be at their peak. If there's a rainy spell soon, you might get lucky and find porcini.
I have mixed feelings about the "out of season" aspect.
When I lived in Italy one of the things I so enjoyed was the "arrival" of any produce at the market because it was suddenly "in season".
In NY real june strawberries are a treat, even though I find them to be a sensitive berry, so dependent on the proper amount of sun -(too rainy and they taste watered down) They taste nothing like the boxed kind you find during the rest of the year,
So I completely understand those who won't order items that aren't in season. As a traveller though I will have to bend my standards, although I will miss the alla romana style.
I will keep an eye out for porcini which I adore. Many years ago I went porcini hunting with Italian friends from Padua. It was so much fun and a delicious breakfast of porcini and chanterelles was had after hours of searching in the early hours of the morning!