Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pizza in Rome: Forno Campo de Fiori

Forno Campo de Fiori, Rome

One of my favorite meals in Rome - so good that I ate it twice in the span of a week - came from a pizzeria and bakery tucked into a corner of Campo de Fiori. Contrary to what my Taiwanese American traveling companion believed, Romans do, in fact, eat pizza. It's one of the most common foods in the city, and perhaps the most famous. (Well, he was surprised that Italians actually eat pasta too, so perhaps he was not the best person by which to judge popular opinion.)

Forno Campo de Fiori, Rome

The trio of expert bakers at Forno Campo de Fiori have been serving pizza and bread for over 30 years, and they know their stuff - the place is usually packed. In addition to the six-foot-long pizzas, which are served by the slice and charged by weight, they offer a selection of both sweet and savory baked goods. But take my advice: skip them and order a slice of pizza for lunch. Forno is strictly takeout, so bring your chosen slice to the square itself, where you can munch happily away under a statue of the philosopher-mathematician Giordano Bruno.

Forno Campo de Fiori, Rome: White Pizza

Forno is known for its pizza bianca, a thick, chewy flatbread topped solely with olive oil and sea salt. I highly recommend it, though it's not what most Americans would consider pizza. That transformation happens when you add cheese and toppings to the crunchy base, and a magical one it is indeed. The pizza funghi was one of my favorites - the mushrooms were buttery, tender, and of a variety I couldn't immediately name, which an Italian friend later identified as porcini. They're common in Rome, but I'd never seen such large ones in the US.

Forno Campo de Fiori, Rome: Mushroom Pizza

My absolute favorite topping was the prosciutto, but it won by an extremely narrow margin. If you need to balance the saltiness of the pizza, Monday through Saturday before 2pm the square is host to a vibrant market - buy a box of fresh strawberries to finish off your meal and you'll feel spoiled after spending only a few euros.

Forno Campo de Fiori, Rome: Prosciutto Pizza

So, to recap: Pizza at Forno. Grab a slice for lunch, because by the time dinner rolls around, you'd be lucky to find a pizza left to order (I tried - and I was not so lucky). You won't be disappointed - weeks after my trip, I'm still dreaming of their chewy crusts.

Forno Campo de Fiori
Campo de Fiori, 22
00186 Rome, Italy

Monday, November 5, 2012

Things to Eat in Singapore: Braised Pig Trotters

In our ongoing series on delicious things to eat in Singapore (otherwise known as some of Dawn's favorite foods), we've already covered bak kut teh, duck rice, popiah, Ipoh hor fun, fish head curry, chilli crab, fish ball noodles, and Hainanese chicken rice. Some of these foods are not for the faint of (American) heart. Here's another dish that falls into that category:


 Braised Pig Trotters


Pig Trotters

Now, I know some of you are already making horrified faces, but I swear to you, pig trotters are delicious. In fact, if you're French, this idea of this dish probably doesn't scare you at all - see: pied de cochon.

For the rest of you: you probably like bacon. In fact, since you're reading this on the internet, I'm willing to bet that most of you are in love with bacon. And pork belly. So think of pig trotters as something akin to pork belly: soft, fatty, and flavorful. In Singapore, pig trotters are often braised in a dark soy-based sauce similar to the one used for Teochew braised duck. They're best eaten with lots of white rice to soak up the rich sauce.

You can always go the gym later.