What to Eat in Rome in the Fall
7 Seasonal Fall Foods to Try in Rome
The fall harvest in Italy brings a bounty of delicious seasonal foods. As the temperature drops and winter appears on the horizon, the culinary focus shifts to hearty, comforting recipes and fresh, vitamin-boosting fruits. If you are visiting Rome from October to December look out for these ingredients at the city’s markets and on restaurant menus for a true taste of autumn in Italy.
Local Aromas’ pick of fall foods in Italy:
A huge variety of pumpkins and squashes begin to appear in Rome just in time for Halloween and are utilized for a range of sweet and savory dishes. Try pasta dishes which pair the delicate pumpkin flavor with salty bacon or pecorino cheese, and look out for pumpkin ravioli or gnocchi served with a sage and butter sauce for a match made in heaven.
During the lead-up to Christmas, the smell of roasted chestnuts permeates the air around central Rome as street-sellers cook and sell them in cones as a wintry snack. You will also find chestnuts cooked into soups and stews, and used in sweets and desserts such as marron glacé (candied chestnuts) and a rich, nutty tart called castagnaccio.
The earthy taste and meaty texture of porcini mushrooms make them a prized ingredient in Italy. They will usually be cooked simply to maximize their flavor, served with fresh fettuccine or in a risotto, but may also be roasted whole in the oven or sliced raw and served with olive oil and shavings of parmesan cheese.
Not only tasty but also full of nutrients, persimmons are a much-loved seasonal fruit in Italy. When fully ripe, the soft flesh bursts with sweetness making them ideal for making jams or desserts, and if you come across persimmon gelato don’t think twice about giving it a try.
The ruby-red seeds of the pomegranate add a juicy zing of flavor to any dish as well as providing numerous health benefits. Coffee bars and market stalls in Italy will often sell a spremuta of fresh pomegranate juice for a refreshing pick-me-up, the seeds will be sprinkled over salads for a hint of sweetness, and you may also find pomegranate gelato on sale at this time of year.
November marks the beginning of truffle season making it the best time to find and eat fresh truffles. These underground members of the mushroom family can be black or white and are renowned for their high cost (the celebrated white truffles from the north of Italy are the most expensive). Use shaved truffle to add a touch of decadence to a simple dish of fresh pasta and butter.
The white, robust fennel bulb has a light, aniseed taste and is delicious when roasted or baked with potatoes and cheese. Fennel may also be eaten raw in salads particularly in the Sicilian style where it is combined with slices of orange and black olives for a delicious balance of sweet and salty flavors.