Eating in Rome: the rich and tasty Easter breakfast
Easter is celebrated everywhere in Italy, but every region has different traditions to be respected. If you are in Rome on Easter Sunday – the day celebrating Christ Resurrection - you don't have to be shocked if a Roman friend of yours invites you to take part to the rich and tasty Easter breakfast.
Rituals, traditions and good food
Those who are used to have a fast breakfast, drinking just a cup of coffee at the bar, will change this habit just on Easter Sunday: the Roman tradition orders a very strong breakfast you shouldn't confuse with the American brunch.
The origin of this custom comes from the past, when the aim of Easter was to celebrate the Resurrection of the Son of God, by a great banquet, well accepted after the fasting of Lent. A table full of food people haven't eaten before the Resurrection day, to symbolise the return to life.
Apart from the connection with religion, the Easter breakfast of the Roman tradition is an hymn to joy - and to food itself.
First of all, we have to specify it is not a breakfast neither a lunch, and it has to respect special rituals. Everything necessary must be on the table, and if this is the first time you take part to this meal, we suggest you to make deep breaths in order to find the perfect approach to remain there until the end of the breakfast.
You should know there will be salty and sweet dishes, and in addition to coffee, also some wine will be served to accompany food.
The Roman families begin to cook Easter breakfast dishes the day before, as they know it takes a lot of time to make them.
Sweet, salty and wine
Which are the typical dishes of the Roman - and Lazio - traditional Easter breakfast?
You will find sweet and salty dishes without a specific order you have to follow eating them. There should be a sort of anarchy according to which everybody can eat whatever they want whenever they want.
According to sweet dishes, tradition orders to make the famous "pizza sbattuta". It is a cake similar to the sponge cake, sometimes served with jam. This cake is different from the "torta pasqualina", a salty cake filled in with spinaches, ricotta cheese and eggs. Alternatively, there is the "pizza al formaggio" - very good the one they use to make in Civitavecchia! - , a salty pizza filled in with cheese, or the "pane di Pasqua", sweet or salty. Also in this case, you can fill in it with eggs, symbol of renaissance. Obviously the traditional "colomba" with almonds and sugar glaze can't miss. There are several different types of it, but the best one is the original one.
Obviously, Easter means Easter eggs, the fundamental unmissable ingredient of the Easter breakfast. Do you think it's enough? No, you have seen nothing!
The typical salami called "corallina" can't miss: it is a peculiar type of salami with the lot of big pieces of pork fat.
Well, we have been talking about sweet and salty cakes, now let's talk about something stronger, such as... the tasty artichokes omelette.
When you talk about artichokes in Rome, you can't miss to think about the famous "coratella con i carciofi", other typical dish of the traditional breakfast.
If you have never heard about it, the "coratella di abbacchio" is a mix of lamb offal - heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, spleen, and sweetbread - cut and mixed with the artichokes, and then cooked with the necessary condiments. It is considered a very special dish of the Roman culinary tradition, and if you like its flavour, eating it in the morning will not be a problem.
You can enrich the Easter breakfast serving also boiled eggs and other types of salami - some people like the spicy "salamella" from Naples or Calabria -, but what can't miss on the table is a bottle of white wine from Castelli Romani, preferably served cold.
Nowadays, the different habits people have changed the tradition of the original Roman people, too: the city is even less full of Roman citizens, and more crowded of people coming from other places, so being a melting pot that doesn't help the protection of the traditional ancient values and costumes, as it happens in several other cities like the Italian capital.
It is certainly very hard to maintain the ancient traditions in a society strongly influenced by the new trends imposed by consumerism.
Despite everything, even a foreign visitor is available to taste the typical Easter breakfast in Rome.
Those who have the fortune of being friend of an original Roman citizen don't have to miss this breakfast, to discover what it really is.
And if you really have the opportunity to taste it, but you are not accustomed to eat so much especially in the morning, we suggest to bring with you a packet of baking soda or any other digestive to eliminate that sounds of fullness you will certainly feel after having eaten a lot of pizza pasqualina, chocolate, salamella, boiled eggs, Colomba with candied fruits and much more. But don't worry, after a while comfort will go away...
Do you want to stay in Rome?
For this location we recommend Hotel Panama Garden, ideal for discovering Rome thanks to its strategic location.