3 10, 2016

Roman Jewish Culinary Traditions on Rosh Hashanah

October 3rd, 2016|Categories: Culture, Food & Wine, Gastronomic Traditions, Jewish/Kosher, Rome & Lazio|2 Comments

Pomegranates are traditionally eaten on the second night of Rosh Hashanah. Rome has one of the world's most ancient Jewish communities--the first Jews arrived during the Republican age around the year 161 BCE. This historic community, whose descendants live in Rome to this day, has rites, traditions, history, and a dialect that are unique in [...]

23 05, 2016

Tasting Rome’s Polpette di Pollo (Chicken Meatballs)

May 23rd, 2016|Categories: Food & Wine, Jewish/Kosher, Recipes, Rome & Lazio, Videos|0 Comments

A shot of last week's segment on WGN Chicago Under normal circumstances I wouldn't get excited about polpette di pollo (chicken meatballs). Chicken balls, perhaps (not that those are easy to find these days, even at my offal-centric butcher), but I'm a veal or pork meatball kinda lady. But these polpette di pollo, inspired by [...]

17 04, 2016

Try Pizzarelle, Rome’s Fried Matzo Fritters, For Passover

April 17th, 2016|Categories: Fried Foods, Gastronomic Traditions, Jewish/Kosher, Rome & Lazio, Sweets & Dessert|1 Comment

A few days a year, Boccione "Il Forno del Ghetto," the generations-old kosher bakery on Via Portico d'Ottavia, sells pizzarelle. The bakers make them only during Passover, and due to restrictions on working, the bakery is closed during most of the holiday. If you time it right, this highly seasonal specialty can be yours. Otherwise, [...]

1 01, 2016

C’è Pasta…e Pasta For Roman Jewish Classics

January 1st, 2016|Categories: Food & Wine, Gastronomic Traditions, Jewish/Kosher, Restaurants, Restaurants in Rome, Rome & Lazio, Rome on a Budget|Tags: |1 Comment

There’s this extraordinary slice of Rome wedged between the Stazione Trastevere, the Tiber, and McDonalds. If you can overlook the stench emitted by the latter landmarks, the place is almost perfect. In addition to its pretty pastel-hued 1920s housing blocks and views of Monte Testaccio and Gazometro, this swath of Trastevere’s […]

13 03, 2015

Passover in Rome, Pesach 5775

March 13th, 2015|Categories: Culture, Jewish/Kosher, Rome & Lazio|8 Comments

Fresco of Moses and the Exodus, from the Dura Europos synagogue. Photo © Richard Beck. This year, Passover begins at sundown on Friday, April 3 and ends the evening of Saturday, April 11. Bear in mind that first two days of Passover (from sundown of April 3 until nightfall two days later) are full-fledged, no-work-allowed holidays. The subsequent four days are Chol Hamoed, when work is allowed, albeit with restrictions. Chol Hamoed is followed by another two full no-work-allowed days. Expect many Jewish businesses to be closed for most of Pesach 5775. […]

27 02, 2015

Rome’s Jewish Ghetto

February 27th, 2015|Categories: Food & Wine, Fried Foods, Gastronomic Traditions, Jewish/Kosher, Restaurants, Rome & Lazio, Travel|10 Comments

As far back as the 2nd century B.C.E., Jews have made their home in Rome and represent the oldest Jewish community in the world outside Israel. What we recognize today as Roman Jewish cooking is fruit of universal Jewish dietary guidelines and, perhaps most importantly, the community’s forced isolation into a gated ghetto for 300 [...]