It is true what they say, that all roads lead to Rome, and the city gets the best produce coming in from all over Italy. Italian food is regional and everyone is fiercely loyal to their birthplace.
Historically, Roman trattorias served home cooked meals and non-Romans establishments would have cucina emiliana (from Emilia- Romagna) or cucina Toscana (from Tuscany) written above their door instead of a name.
Today, boundaries have blurred the regional borders somewhat, and people experiment, but when a Roman talks of typical dishes such as cacio e pepe or all’amatriciana his voice will grow thick with emotion, and it will be very clear his deep love is reserved for dishes from him hometown.
Workers who have come to Rome from other regions have expanded the food scene, and an influx of foreigners has introduced Rome to new flavours.
Cheaper travel has also opened many culinary doors and the capital now has a scattering of ethnic shops and eateries.
At the weekend there can be found frenzied scenes in the food shops, reminiscent of battles in the markets as supplies fail to keep up with demand.
On Sunday morning, in the more densely populated suburbs, the tantalising aromas of lovingly cooked food drifts from balcony to balcony, with the power often wavering as extra gas and electricity are needed in the kitchens.
By Monday morning, the shopping, cooking and eating begins all over again, but this time in the workplace, where groups of colleagues can often be heard recounting what they ate for Sunday lunch.
In the past every Roman neighbourhood had its own small food market where local families shopped daily for fresh provisions. When it became common for women to work after marriage, the market’s morning-only hours called for some skillful time management, and the advent of...