Food and Wine



 Roma_zagarolo_luxury_house_food&drinkViticulture in the Castelli Romani area has ancient origins. According to myth, Saturn was banished from Olympus by his father Jove, and fled to the Castelli Romani where he introduced the grapevine. Today, the tradition of wine-making flourishes here and the famous ‘fraschette’ (taverns typical of the region) testify to the importance of wine production. The curious name derives from the custom of displaying a ‘frasca’ – a leafy branch – above the tavern doorway. Clients were served the local wine which was consumed with snacks (generally cold cuts and cheese) brought from home. In Frascati, Velletri, Marino and Lanuvio, the ‘fraschette’ preserve the old atmosphere, but they can be found in all the little towns in the Castelli Romani area. The original peasant cuisine had over time been influenced by the sophisticated cooking of Imperial Rome, but then returned to its country tradition of simple and tasty recipes. Typical dishes include: boiled and then quickly fried chicory, pasta ‘alla carbonara, chicken with peppers (or Chicken Roman-style), tordo matto (a specialty of Zagarolo), puntarelle (Catalogna chicory) in anchovy sauce, bruschetta, beans with pork rind, artichokes both Roman and Jewish style which have their origins in the Jewish ghetto, and the traditional, unrivalled ’porchetta’ of Ariccia, whose still popular recipe goes back to Imperial times. In the southern area of the province of Rome, fava beans with Pecorino and white wine are an excellent and tasty dish, typically served on the Labour Day holiday on 1 May. Genzano and Lariano bread is famous throughout the region, and traditional cakes and cookies such as panpepato (a type of gingerbread), pangiallo, soft almond cookies called ‘brutti ma buoni’ (‘ugly but good’) from Frascati, are simple and delicious. The Lazio culinary tradition is so rich and various that it becomes a real challenge to stay slim – you will need an iron will to resist temptation!