When the word “cuisine” follows an adjective pointing to a zone (like “Roman cuisine”), we refer to dishes deep-rooted into a specific geographic area. Anyway, that doesn’t mean that those dishes were necessarily born in that place, or that they were made with local ingredients: often, the dishes typically belonging to a place are the result of combinations and interchanges, of roundtrips. Cuisine borders are not as clear as the political ones.
In our trattoria, pasta is an important element in the menu. Generally, pasta is the fundamental element of Italian cuisine. Let’s take for example tomato pasta. That is a dish of a truly Italian identity, but we cannot state that the preparation of the tomato pasta is 100% Italian. Dry pasta is an invention from the Middle Ages, which came to Italy from the Arab area. Tomato comes from the Americas. So, that is a crucial dish in Italian cuisine which anyway, at least for what concerns the origin of the ingredients, is poorly Italian. Rather, once pasta came to Italy, it found in the peninsula several social, cultural and natural conditions that encouraged its diffusion. For sure, in Italy pasta became the carrier for many different flavors, a basic ingredient to create thousands of combinations.
For what concerns Roman cuisine too, we can say that many dishes and ingredients in the huge recipe tradition of the city are the result of cultural matches: for example we use guanciale in many preparations, that is pork meat spread in Italy through the influence of the German culture.
In the next stories, we’re going to analyze the many influences the Roman Cuisine had. A Roman cuisine you can taste in my trattoria.
Maria Chiara Di Felice