Daily Archives: May 25, 2011

Bread

Of all the topics about Italian travel, I bet few of you figured I would write about bread.  I am hypersensitive to others speak about their travel experiences – especially travel in Italy.   If you have spent any time in a big city you know subconsciously overhearing conversation is easy to do – regardless if that’s your intent.  The comments people make about Italy always astound me.  Italy either fits you like a glove or turns you off faster than you can say ciao.  I have heard a handful of people say the bread in Italy is awful.  At first I didn’t think much of it, but on my last trip across the pond I started making observations.

The farther south I went; the better the bread tasted.  In Bologna the bread was dry and crumbly. In Firenze the bread was still dry and crumbly. By the time I got to Roma it got easier to find fresh soft bread, but often it was dry. When I arrived in Napoli I was almost amazed by the fact that it was exactly what I was looking for. The bread was soft and chewy.  After a few conversations with the locals I found my answer.  Most bread cooked in the south, especially in Napoli, uses salt in the recipe. Most bread north of Roma doesn’t typically use salt and as a result it doesn’t taste very good to American palettes. The bread at restaurants is not free and costs any where from €2,00 – €8,00.
So if a restaurant makes the bread on sight or orders it from the local bakery consider asking if salt is used before you make your final decision.

Pit stop, Roma

When traveling, the process can take its toll.  Every trip I’m plagued with very little sleep, poor airplane food, and little patience.  It seems when arriving at your destination you’re depleted of all three.  In January arrived in Rome late in the afternoon – around 7pm.  As I stepped off the train I only wanted three things:  To check in to my hotel, drop off my backpack – which had been weighing me down the past 8 hours, and eat a big plate of pasta.  The hotel my colleague booked for us was a 10 min walk from the Termini Station – typical for most hotels in the area.   After we checked in and dropped my bags in the room, I began to stagger toward front door of the hotel.  On the way out I asked the man at the door if he had any favorite restaurants in the area.  He said I must try Meid in Nepols.  This restaurant is a great find.  I recommend it to anyone traveling through Roma, or anyone just wanting to grab a bite close to the train station.  The prices are affordable; €6 – €10 for a pizza, €9 – €12 euro for a good plate of pasta.  The quality is just as good as expensive restaurants in the center of town.

Restaurant Recommendation:  Meid in Nepols

My Restaurant Score:  93/100 pts.

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