Saturday, 21 March 2015

Roman Spring
Sometimes I dream in Italian

Artichokes
Claudio's Stall at
Campo de Fiori'

When in Rome in early Spring,
do as the Romans do:
Eat artichokes,
any which way
you can find them prepared
!

The Artist at Work
Claudio's Stall
Campo de' Fiori

Ada Boni's classic cookbook
- "Il Talismano della Cucina" -
offers almost four dozen recipes with artichokes,
among them "Carciofi fritti alla Giudia",
whole artichokes fried to look like giant flowers.

The outer leaves are fried to a lovely crunchiness,
while the protected inner core is cooked to perfect succulence.
Together, they taste like Manna from Heaven.

Ada Boni's "Carciofi alla Giudia"
recipe reads like a suspense story,
great for entertainment value,
but better not tried at home.

And why should you?
Via Ottaviana is lined with restaurants
specializing in Roman-Jewish cuisine.
They serve this Jewish-style delicacy
fried to perfection,
without you slaving over a hot frying pot.

Besides, in Italy,
the outdoor markets or your greengrocer
offer a wide variety of artichokes,
a special one for each recipe ever invented
- and cleaned and prepared, ready to cook -
so you start already with a distinct disadvantage
when trying to replicate Roman recipes abroad.

Still, there is a classic Roman artichoke dish,
fairly easy to prepare if someone else
has cleaned the artichokes for you:

Carciofi nel Tegame alla Romana
Artichokes ready to be cooked
Roman style, in a saucepan

My Rome
Photographed
at Rome's Campo de' Fiori
Market and the nearby
Via Ottaviana in March 2009

Images and text © by Merisi

15 comments:

  1. I have heard about that Roman-Jewish artichoke dish, but never had it. Thanks for these unusual shots.

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    1. Artichoke fried the Roman-Jewish way is out of this world. Those crispy outer leaves, all edible, down to the soft core, I want to jump onto a plane and fly right down .... ;-)

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  2. I have so much to learn abt artichokes! Post is fascinating!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Romans have so many ways with artichokes, it seems like an entirely different vegetable altogether.

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  3. Replies
    1. Romamor! Quanto mi manca!

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  4. Lovely lovely Rome and artichokes are really nice to eat, I love it!
    Have a happy weekend, take care...
    Titti

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    Replies
    1. I could not agree more, on both counts! :-)
      Wishing you a wonderful week,
      Merisi

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  5. And now you have me hungry!

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    Replies
    1. We should all meet in Rome and taste all those artichoke dishes! ;-)

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  6. Oh ... I miss Rome. I wonder if I dream of Italy and don't remember, because then I'd want to just stay in bed! OK, I'm checking the farmers' market tomorrow for some carciofi!

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    Replies
    1. Hope you found some delicious artichokes (should not be a problem in your part of the world, should it?)! I sometimes mix the languages. Trying desperately to find a word in German and all I can remember is the Italian one, not even the English translation. ;-)

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  7. I long to buy some and learn to properly prepare them.

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    Replies
    1. See, I have the recipes and know how they should taste, but finding artichokes as fresh and in so many varieties as in Rome, an impossible task around here.

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  8. A beautiful post, photos are amazing. I remember being at my cousins in Italy and she did these for me. Delicious.

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