5 Fried Foods to Eat in Rome
The Top Roman Fritti You Need to Order
In Rome, the Italian word fritti refers to the mouth-watering array of fried foods on offer at restaurants and street food joints across the city. Although they are consumed any time of day, as part of a meal or as a quick bite on the go, in Rome the true home of the fritti is the pizzeria. Romans will always kick-off a meal in a pizzeria with a range of fried antipasti which should be freshly cooked to order and brought to the table piping hot, accompanied by an ice-cold beer to de-grease the palate.
Here are our top 5 favorite fried foods that you should not leave Rome without tasting:
The traditional Roman supplì is an oval-shaped breadcrumbed ball of rice and tomato ragù. Hidden inside is a piece of mozzarella which gently melts as the supplì is cooked, creating a string of cheese when you bite into the center (and giving them their full name supplì al telefono, referring to the telephone wire appearance of the string of melted cheese). The evolution of Roman cuisine means that now there are thousands of modern takes on the classic supplì, using different ingredients and flavorings, and even using pasta in place of rice.
Fiori di Zucca
Zucchini flowers are the star of this recipe which could be considered a Roman version of tempura. The delicate blossoms are carefully opened and filled with pieces of mozzarella and anchovy before being dipped in a feather-light batter and deep-fried until golden. The stellar flavor combination of milky mozzarella and salty anchovy explodes on your taste buds as you take the first mouthful.
Originating in the town of Ascoli Piceno in the region of Marche, olive ascolane are nevertheless easily found in Rome and make an amazing aperitivo snack. Succulent green olives are painstakingly pitted and the remaining cavity is stuffed with a mixture of ground meat and spices. The olives are then dipped in breadcrumbs and fried until they form a sturdy outer crust.
Filetti di Baccalà
Baccalà (salt cod), is typically eaten on Fridays in Rome, and this is one of the most popular ways to prepare it. After the lengthy process of soaking to remove the salt and re-hydrate the fish, the bright white fillets are coated in batter and deep-fried to create a crunchy exterior before being devoured while steaming hot.
Mozzarella in Carrozza
Not for the faint-hearted, this is basically a fried mozzarella sandwich which is covered in egg and breadcrumbs and cooked until the coating is crisp and crunchy and the mozzarella has melted. The word carrozza means carriage in English and refers to the strands of mozzarella which appear as you bite into it and recall the reins of a horse and carriage.
This is just a selection of the huge array of fabulous fried foods available in Rome. Also look out for fritto misto (battered fried vegetables or fish), mozzarelline (small balls of deep-fried mozzarella), crochette di patate (potato croquettes), and arancini (filled fried rice balls from Sicily).