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Greetings from Roma! Last night we didn't find any carciofi alla romano, but we found plenty of pizza! In fact, I had pizza last night for dinner, and today for lunch. Overall, they were very different, but they did have one thing in common - no
cheese. Cheeseless pizza is very commonplace here (although not as popular). Last night was wood fired thin crust topped with fresh mushrooms (notice the heart shaped dollop of sauce on top in the middle). Today (the photo with me) was from an organic
vendor who had a tiny counter off the Piazza Sant'Eustachio. It was made with a very light pastry-style crust, olive oil, fresh tomatoes, and green olives. Both were simple, but incredibly flavorful (the 3-4 ingredients created a layer of flavors). And that brings me to my #1 Italian food/nutrition take away of the day - simple staples satisfy. I couldn't stop mmmmming while eating both, and I felt completely content after finishing my small (Eurosized) portion.
Throughout the day, as we toured museums, I kept my eyes peeled for food within art, and I definitely saw a theme - bread, wine, and fruit appeared in numerous paintings and sculptures. Of course, these three continue to be mainstays of the Italian diet (thousands of years later), and stellar quality is of the utmost importance. I can't speak Italian, so I couldn't ask the food purveyors all of the questions I wanted to, but I'd bet good money that the tomatoes from each of my pizzas were locally
grown. The simplicity and food pride (along with the slower eating pace) here is leading me to fall in love with Italy (I'm already planning my return trip)! Happy Valentine's Day!
Photos courtesy of Cynthia Sass