Tasting the Traditions of Rome

Located in the town of Trastevere, a tiny little pizza shop called Pizza Trilussa folds your pizza slice into the perfect sandwich.

       Italian culture in Rome is rich with culinary traditions to explore. Many restaurants can be found down allies and provide a charming hole in the wall experience. In Rome, there is a divide within the restaurant industry between what is known as slow food and fast food. Each restaurant upholds slow or fast food menus for their customers.

       Slow food provides customers with an authentic taste of regional dishes. These dishes offer ingredients that are true to the region where the meal originated. The ingredients are fresh each morning and sold by farmers from surrounding the countryside specific to the region of the dish. Slow food restaurants focus on the quality of the meals they create rather than the profits to be made. They believe it is more important to be busy each night rather than to charge more per meal. Restaurants that are certified as slow food uphold this tradition to ensure the longevity of their practice. This style of cooking is practiced to show appreciation for regional Italian cuisine throughout history. Slow food chefs believe it is crucial for Italians to not fall victim to industrialist practices that attract tourists. Currently there are only seven certified slow food restaurants in Rome which make authentic slow food a precious rarity.

       In Italy fast food is not the same as North American drive through restaurants. In Rome food is almost always eaten within the restaurant and not to be consumed while traveling the streets. The only acceptable fast food item that can be consumed on the streets is known as suppli. Suppli contains rice, ragu sauce, and mozzarella all fried in an egg yolk shell. This loved treat is a fan favorite among many Romans and is considered a gourmet hot pocket by tour guides.

      Fast food restaurants do not design their menus with regional cuisine in mind, but rather to generate the most money possible. These restaurants provide Italian cuisine that attracts tourists with large menus and pictures of their food. Traditional Italian restaurants in Rome do not provide images of their food for patrons. Despite not following traditional cooking methods, fast food restaurants are the most common places for citizens in Rome to eat.

John Andrew Knight

John Andrew Knight

John is junior Visual Communications at the University of South Carolina. He has enjoyed capturing the street art and meeting the locals while in Italy.

Maggie Gosiger

Maggie Gosiger

Featured Photo:
Gosiger is a senior Visual Communications major in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina. She has enjoyed tasting what Italy has to offer her.