Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Light Breakfast

   Still lacking a true American breakfast and still disenchanted with the typical Roman breakfast (see previous post "Colazione Americana") I've crafted my own more personal take on my favorite meal in this Roman setting...this brief sampling of traditional Italian tastes satisfy both enjoyable tastes and experiences.
      Crossing Ponte Sisto from my apartment in Trastevere in the morning I like to meander down a small street called Via Arco del Monte on the way towards Campo de Fiori. On the left side of the road is a beautiful little Pasticeria (pastry shop/bakery) called "Nonna Vincenza" a family operation based on the culinary tradition of the family's very own nonna Vincenza (grandma Vincenza).

      When you walk in you are greeted by a tall bright room filled with natural light and lined with tall walnut cabinets. At the center of the room sits an enormous and broad oak table. On this table and behind the glass of the cabinets sits an endless selection of cakes, pies, cornetti, rolls, fruit tarts, and pastries of every shape. It would take a month to try everything on display there, but I prefer to buy a Brioche, a delicious round bread roll enriched with eggs and butter. It's like a small fluffy loaf of sweet bread and I've found no place that makes them quite like Nonna Vincenza. After giving 1.50 euro to one of the owners at the cash register on the big table, I step back out into the street and head over to Campo de Fiori where the morning produce market is in full swing. 
      The morning market at Campo de Fiori has been a daily tradition since 1869 and it still thrives today. As you walk into the market you are met with a sea of umbrellas and stands selling fruits, flowers, vegetables, dried fruits, beans, juices, plants, and everything you could imagine. Every morning for over a hundred years vendors have set up their umbrellas and their stands, and every afternoon at 2pm they take them back down and get ready for tomorrow's market. 
       I stroll through this old square between stands eating my brioche in search of a stand with a pile of oranges in a basket, an indication that the stand sells Spremunta. A spremunta is a glass of the most delicious fresh squeezed orange juice made right in front of you from blood oranges for a small 2 euro coin. 
    It's not a bad way to spend an hour...I'd recommend it to everyone.

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