A Roman delicacy: the Maritozzo
Italy has rituals, typical of each region and city, heart of the habits the people have there, as they were born or who moved there, making them part of their own.
Some examples? Eat a 'coppetiello' in Naples, to taste a freshly fried fry, tasting a Sicilian "cannolo" in Catania, just filled in, or, having a sandwich with "lampredotto" prepared at the market of San Lorenzo, in Florence.
One of the very traditional must of Rome is something so tasty you can't find it elsewhere: the Roman Maritozzo.
It is a typical sweet you have to taste almost once if you visit Rome, to discover its beauties and its culture.
The Roman Maritozzo
It is just a little sweet sandwich, made of flour, eggs, butter, and a pinch of salt; after its leavening it must be baked. Once cooked, they cut it in longitudinal sense for being filled up of cream.
It is one the croissants you can find at the bar in the early morning, you can taste drinking Cappuccino, for a fast Roman breakfast.
Its history dates back to the ancient Roman people, when the sandwiches used to be baked and then seasoned by honey and raisin; it was a tasty and fast food of the peasants.
The ancient Roman people surely exported it in the several areas they settled, reason why you can find it elsewhere in Italy, nowadays.
The current Maritozzo is not so different from the one of the time, just a little bit smaller; by the centuries, the farmers have started eating it to have enough energy to work when they could not go back home for lunch.
It already existed during the Middle Ages, when they used to eat it before Easter. It was a bit different from now, more baked and the dough was made of pine nuts, candied and raisin, too.
It was called “holy” because people could eat it during the fasting before Easter.
But the name, according to another version, should have origin by the legend it was a good omen for a new pair. The tradition they had to respect at the time told the boyfriend had to give a Maritozzo to the girlfriend on the first Friday of March, because the decoration made by the sugar showed two pierced hearts, usually containing a ring.
The origin of the name should be connected to the term "marito" - that means husband - and its long shape, remembering the shape of a phallus, according to what the poet Gioacchino Belli said, when he described it.
The recipe of the Roman Maritozzo
If you want to try to make it, here you are the ingredients you need:
00 flour, brewer yeast, eggs, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and cream for the filling.
Dissolve the yeast in a glass with warm water, add the liquid to the flour, and then move on kneading the dough, until it gets soft. Let it leavening for 20 minutes, in a warm place, covered by a clean cloth.
After the leavening, add more flour, one egg, the oil and a pinch of salt, go on energetically kneading it once added the refined sugar. Once each every ingredient will be well-melted, leave the dough to rest in a warm place for one hour, covered and protected.
Somebody adds pine nuts, candies and "zibibbo" to the dough, but this is not the original Roman recipe.
Make little oval sandwiches, put them on the rack - spread some oil on it - not too close one to the other, and let them rest for at least six hours.
Once finished, bake them for 30 minutes, until they get golden.
Where to eat a wonderful Maritozzo?
There are several bars selling it, but less than in the past. There are places where the Maritozzo is "protected" as a real attraction. The following ones come from the top five.
In Via dello Statuto 60, Regoli: in this pastry, situated in the Esquilino district, you will find a few Maritozzi, so we suggest you to go there in the early morning.
Via Candia 16 - Trionfale district - Panificio Mosca: this bakery offers the "quaresimale", without cream but candies and raisin.
Via Eritrea 140 - Africano district - Romoli: any breakfast lover will find what they look for, and the Maritozzo filled in with cream is the favourite one.
Via Barrili 56/62 - Gianicolense district - Dolci Desideri : it makes mini-Maritozzo, nothing less than the big ones, thanks to the soft dough and the fresh cream that make you eat many of them without stopping.
Via Ettore Rolli 50 - Trastevere district - Il Maritozzaro: Here you can eat a Maritozzo with cream at any time of the evening and through all the night, as during the day it is closed.
Do you want to stay in Rome?
For this location we recommend Hotel Ariston, ideal for discovering Rome thanks to its strategic location.