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 years, which resulted in a unique spin on traditional Italian and Jewish cuisine, using what limited ingredients were available. Additionally, the cuisine reflects many outsider influences—result of the Jewish diaspora of the 15th century as direct result of the Spanish Inquisition, and again in the 1960s when thousands of Jews fleeing Libya settled in Rome. This walking tour, followed by a curated lunch if requested, will focus on the history and development of Rome’s Jewish food traditions. We will explore 22 centuries of culinary evolution and taste local and seasonal dishes at kosher bakeries and a restaurant in the Jewish Ghetto.
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