Monthly Archives: April 2017

About Recyclable pizza packaging

The Co-op has announced it will reduce its landfill waste by introducing a new recyclable packaging for its pizzas.

The supermarket chain has replaced polystyrene discs with cardboard ones across its 17 own-brand pizza ranges.

The move will prevent 200 tonnes of polystyrene boards going to landfill, and create almost 450 tonnes of cardboard for recycling annually, according the retailer.

“Pizza discs have been high on our priority list for some time, and we’ve been working hard to find the right replacement,” Iain Ferguson, environment manager at the Co-op, said.

“This change is a major step in our journey to make all of our packaging easy to recycle, and we will be making further announcements on packaging in the months ahead.”

Later this month, the Co-op could set a new target to make 100 per cent of its own-brand packaging recyclable. Its members will vote at the Co-op’s annual general meeting on 20 May to decide.

The supermarket will also be moving from black plastic to card packaging for tomatoes later this year.

In November, Co-op already pledged to make 80 per cent of its own-brand packaging easy recyclable by 2020 on the back of research that found two-thirds of all plastic packaging used for consumers products in the UK is being sent to landfill or incineration.

The UK alone produces more than 170 million tonnes of waste every year with most of it coming from food packaging, according to official figures.

This Crunchy Suppli Rice Balls to Blended Frozen Coffe At Rome

Rome wasn’t built in a day – and it shows. No matter how many times you visit Italy’s capital, there will always be something left to discover; be it a hidden corner which has lain hidden for centuries or the latest street art installation.

Despite the slow-paced character often attributed to its locals, Rome is always on the move, bustling with constant innovation in the arts, culture and food, often mixing elements from the city’s characteristics; glorious and popular, stately and genuine, traditional and daring.

Across the city’s streets, the magnificence of its historical heritage lies alongside its underground culture. Fine dining restaurants mingle with the coloured chaos of neighbourhood markets, something that must be seen and experienced for anyone who wants to know the city better than an average tourist.

Rome is a huge, sprawling city, but there are little pockets of culture throughout where you can find fantastic trattorias, dedicated artisans, awe-inspiring artworks and buzzing markets brimming with fresh, vibrant produce. Knowing where to go before you get there means you can get the most out of your trip – as someone who has lived in the city for many years, I’ve done all the hard work for you already.

There is something for everyone in Rome and always the opportunity to get to know a different aspect of the city. It boasts internationally acclaimed art that isn’t confined to gallery walls, popular food markets serving both traditional local dishes, street food innovations and courses that show you how to eat and drink like a Roman. That’s not to mention the city’s iconic landmarks.

Testaccio market

The birthplace of the “five quarters” tradition, where offal was championed by butchers, is now home to famous chefs serving up street food and artisan producers selling local delicacies in different “boxes” (stalls).

The menu at Romeo changes daily depending on what other stalls are selling at Testaccio.

Cristina Bowerman, head chef of the Michelin-starred restaurant Glass Hostaria, chose the beautiful Testaccio market to base her “popular food” shops called Romeo, Cups and Frigo. At Romeo, people can buy or taste all sorts of products from its delicatessen; freshly baked pizza, a tempting selection of ham and cheese and the famous panini gourmet with creative fillings such as octopus, potatoes and squid ink mayonnaise. In the same space, there are also delicious ice creams made with natural and seasonal ingredients served in cups. The menu at Romeo changes daily depending on what other stalls are selling at Testaccio, but some of the usual options include meatballs in tomato sauce, artichokes alla Romana or bean soup.​

Go gluten-free at In Cibo Veritas (Box 57)

Mouthwatering, crunchy supplì (stuffed rice balls), freshly made pasta, colourful salads and earthy soups are among the inviting dishes at this small box opposite Cups. Everything is completely gluten-free and made with quality, seasonal ingredients sourced from the market’s stalls. Every day you will find classic and seasonal supplì (such as the al telefono ones with tomato sauce and melting cheese, or artichoke and pecorino), potato croquettes, homemade focaccia, buckwheat pancakes, seasonal vegetarian soups and ever-changing pasta dishes, including the spaghetti con le vongole (clams) on Saturdays, when the mixed fried seafood dish is a special treat. Everything is served by Luca and his friends (all passionate AS Roma football fans) with a smile.

Smell the coffee at Chicchi e Lettere (Box 43)

Testaccio market has its own coffee shop right at its centre with a nice seating area called Max Caffé in Piazzetta and another on one of the outside corners (L’Angolo del Caffé), but right in between Cups and In Cibo Veritas lies Chicchi e Lettere, a box offering in-house roasted blends and all sorts of coffee-related items such as moka coffee pots and biscuits. While it doesn’t serve hot coffee to take away (market rules, alas) you can pick up a blended, frozen variety that’s perfect when you need to cool off. Follow with a simple yet satisfying aperitivo of a glass of wine and some savoury snacks, salami and cheese.

Eat and drink like a Roman

Enter Roman homes and wine bars to get up close and personal with real local home cooks and learn more about the city’s latest wine trends.

Attend a ‘cooking with nonna’ course

Eating Italy organises proper food tours in undiscovered neighbourhoods around Rome, offering the opportunity to enter real homes and spend four hours with an Italian nonna (grandmother) to learn how they prepare specialities. The recipes – which change according to season but always include a popular antipasto, homemade pasta, meat and dessert – are then enjoyed all together in a friendly and homely atmosphere along with wine.

Enrol at the Folle Casseruola cookery school

Stefania Aphel Barzini is an expert food writer and TV personality who recently decided to open her home – which is not far from the city – to authentic Roman home-cooking. She loves to share her own experiences, anecdotes and considerations about a conscious and sustainable life and way of eating. The Cooking as Romans Do course focuses on specific aspects and ingredients of Roman traditional cooking such as pasta (amatriciana, carbonara, gricia and cacio e pepe), meat (roasted lamb scottadito, saltimbocca alla romana and peas with guanciale) or desserts (ricotta cheesecake, maritozzi with whipped cream and fritters).

Drink wine at Vino Roma

Turkish-born Hande Leimer lived in the US, Italy and Germany before settling down for good in Rome. As a member of the Italian Sommelier Association, with Wine & Spirit Education Trust accreditation, she is happy to share her enthusiasm for Italy, its wines and its food together with fellow sommeliers Theodor Leimer and Maurizio Di Franco.

In their beautiful wine studio in the Monti borough just minutes away from the coliseum, they hold “My Italians” tasting sessions to let people know more about the famous and lesser known regional Italian wines. “Wine and Cheese” classes pair five different wines and cheeses from around the country, too. Don’t think of these as formal classes and intimidating sessions; they are enjoyable, very relaxed experiences all about sharing the pleasure of drinking Italian wine.

Still have time to spare?

The largest branch of Oscar Farinetti’s food retail project, Eataly Roma is one of the main reasons Ostiense has turned into a trendy, popular district. The huge space now contains three floors showcasing the best of Italian food and wine. Each area has a small restaurant where you can taste traditional delicacies.

Set on the slopes of the Aventine Hill, the public rose garden showcases more than a thousand varieties of rose from all over the world, including modern, ancient and even primordial species.

Centrale Montemartini is a unique museum located in a former thermoelectric power station in Ostiense which displays a number of ancient statues, sculptures and mosaics which have been uncovered during excavations in the city. It also hosts temporary exhibitions dedicated to specific aspects of contemporary urban life.

Places To Eat With The Locals In Rome

The Eternal City has no shortage of eating options. Italian culture is well known for its family traditions, that almost always focus on food. Your experience in Rome should be no different. But, in case you’re overwhelmed by the choices available to you, or simply want to avoid the tourist traps, we’ve asked the Spotted by Locals team in Rome to recommend some of their favourite options. Buon appetito!

Flavio al Velavevodetto (ristorantevelavevodetto.it) nearly always gets five-star reviews. It’s rightly celebrated for its delicious and traditional cooking, especially its cacio e pepe (pasta with pecorino and black pepper). But, because it’s located on a quiet street on the edge of Testaccio it’s not often stumbled on by tourists (despite its renown). You get the great combination of a local kitchen with local patrons surrounding you.

The Spanish Steps (Paolo Margari)

A popular recommendation from local Ivan is Ginger (ginger.roma.it), a health-focused, organic restaurant located on Via Borgognona, close to the Spanish Steps that will soon reveal their €1.5m Bulgari-sponsored renovation. If you’ve had your fill of pizza and pasta, Ginger offers refreshing palate cleanser – octopus carpaccio with lime mayonnaise or fish with cherry tomatoes, olives, chard and oregano.

Local Daniela admits it can be hard to avoid the touristy restaurants, around the city’s landmarks that try to lure you in with promises of superior cooking or discounts. If she’s near the Pantheon though, she knows she’ll get a good meal if she heads to La Ciambella (laciambellaroma.com). A lot of the dishes that the friendly staff serve you are Roman, made from the best ingredients, for example lamb with fried artichokes.

Ginger (Taryn Visitilli)

Rome sports a great deal of history, astounding architecture and imposing art. However, you don’t often get to sit down among all that grandeur and enjoy a meal. That’s not the case at La Veranda (laveranda.net) though, a restaurant in the Palazzo della Rovere, which dates back to 1480. It has impressive arched ceilings and frescos and you’ll be hard-pressed to keep your focus on your delicious meal. It can be pricey though (main courses cost €26 and might include sirloin steak with asparagus, taleggio, herbs and strawberry salad), so you might want to try its (cheaper) Sunday brunch, which starts at €15pp.

Tips To Make Watercress Gazpacho with Manchego Croutes

Watercress gazpacho with Manchego croutes

Serves 4

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

For the gazpacho

1kg ripe plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 spring onions, finely chopped
75g stale crusty bread, chopped
2-2.5 tsps sherry vinegar
50g watercress
2-3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

For the croutes

50g Manchego cheese or parmesan, finely grated
1 small baguette, thinly sliced
Olive oil, for brushing

Place all gazpacho ingredients in a large bowl.Season well with salt and pepper. Mix everything together, pressing down firmly to squeeze out the juices. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or preferably overnight.

Put the mixture into a blender and blitz until smooth. Check the consistency, adding more olive oil if the soup is too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cover and refrigerate again until thoroughly chilled. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Make the croutes by thinly slicing the baguette. Brush the slices with olive oil and sprinkle grated Manchego or parmesan on top. Bake for six to eight minutes or until crisp and golden brown.

To serve, taste the gazpacho for a final time and adjust seasoning if necessary. Sprinkle with some chopped watercress, drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve with the croutes on the side.