Welcome to Lazio
|Nonne from Lazio|
|Recipes from Lazio|
Tevere and San Pietro - Photo: Mauro Pipponzi
Lazio, or Latium, is a region in the center of the boot, facing the Tyrrhenian sea, and home to Italy’s capital, the eternal city, Rome. Lazio is also the region which hosts the Vatican Republic and the Pope. These two reasons alone make it the most visited region in Europe. It is needless to describe the beauties and treasures of cities like Rome, Terni, Viterbo, they are known world-wide.
Lazio is a vast low-lying land, punctuated by the headlands of Circeo and Orlando. Behind the coastal strip, to the north we find the Latium Maremma, interrupted at Civitavecchia by the Tolfa Mountains, in the centre by the Roman campagna and to the South by Agro Pontino. This area, once swampy and unhealthy, was reclaimed over the centuries and is now highly agricultural.
Just like it is difficult to describe in few words the beauties of this region, it is difficult to list all the culinary treasures that exist in Lazio.
Let us just say that all the dishes of the area are now called Roman, and that in Rome one can eat almost anything! One of the most interesting things, which makes Lazio stand alone in Italy, is the fact that eating was always considered not only an art, but the favourite sport of all, no distinction being made between the rich and the poor. They all ate quite well... of course when an animal was butchered, the Patricians (the rich) would eat the choicest parts of the animal, whereas the Plebei (the poor) would get all the discarded parts such as the head, the tail, the internal organs, etc.
Colosseum - Photo: Carlo Struglia
If one must name a few dishes, then it must be:
For firsts: “Amatriciana”, pasta made with a type of bacon “guanciale”, fresh tomatoes and hot pepper.
For seconds: Abbacchio: baby lamb (not older than a month) pan roasted with fresh herbs - only the Romans know the patience it takes to turn the little pieces every few minutes for hours.
For side dishes: Carciofi alla romana: a special type of artichoke that grows in Lazio - deep fried.
For dessert: prevalently anything made from ricotta - pies and puddings alike.
But how can you not mention the great soups and stews, made with fresh vegetables and meats, the “carbonara”, the “mozzarella in carrozza”, etc., etc., etc.
And what does one drink? Well, let us just say that there are over twenty wines with DOC label, although the most renowned are the Frascati and the EST EST EST.
And to top it all off the minstrels accompanying your meal with the “Stornelli Romani”, because in Lazio eating is music for the stomach and the mind!
Roman Artichokes - Photo: Claudio017