This is going to be the first of many “very unpopular topics” post with Italians, but most of all with Romans.
Deep breath…here I go!
Ok, when I read about Italian food, Italian restaurants and more specifically roman cuisine and restaurants/bars I often cannot help thinking how things have changed radically and are not as they used to be. The “Dolce Vita” days are over, Kaput, finito but people still think or maybe want to believe that Italians live in that dreamy setting. Wakey-wakey…NO!! The eternal city has changed dramatically. In my opinion and not in a positive way. The city has become stressful, rundown, dirty and all this unfortunately has a major impact on the people and it’s food creativity.
Roman food is going downhill.
Rome’s general standard in my opinion had dropped dramatically. Romans are fed up of everything, of all the things that do not work in this city (I don’t blame them!) and so tend to think they can just live off the past reputation without making any effort to renew, update it’s local dishes. I mean, of course some dishes must stay true to tradition but there is space for something new or reinterpreted.
Romans are lazy.
They have all the best ingredients and have the creativity/skill to dare and invent new dishes but no…let’s just keep on as always! To be fair, some restaurants have undergone a change of image, food design and menu ideas but thus so becoming expensive on the market. Unfortunately very few have kept in a reasonably good price range. I wish there could be more of a choice. Rome seems to lack a vibrant, exciting and creative food scenario.
In this country immigration is a major issue. As a catholic country I’m afraid it’s not a very welcoming country and Rome is far from being an open minded capital. For some Ethnic people it’s hell. Anyway, I don’t want to side-track. So, going back to immigration…I find it sad that the Italian cuisine seems to reject forcefully any “contamination” from foreign spices, flavours and products. Why not create Italian dishes with new and exciting flavours? It’s also rather challenging, don’t you think?
If you look at British cuisine, many will say the Brits don’t have a cuisine come on!! Ok, yes BUT it’s maybe due to this that they are not afraid to experiment and set loose their creativity by cooking with all the wonderful spices and foods out there!!
Another annoying thing is the interior décor of many restaurants and bars. Have you noticed how most places seem so old and sometimes sad looking? Say you can overcome this aspect rather easily, so you still go in, sit down, order your meal until the time comes to go to the Ladies or Gents and there you stand in total shock…speechless. Small, dirty looking loos, although they are not really dirty it’s the old tiles and sink that unfortunately makes them look dirty.
Please tell me why oh why toilets in this city are so “unfriendly” looking making you cringe! I have often been in a situation where there is no toilet paper. Now I always take a packet of tissues with me just in case!! The toilet seats have no top cover. Generally speaking sore sight for ones eyes. You may think I’m exaggerating, believe me I’m not.
Last but not least for today, that is, is why is it totally impossible to find in Rome a place where you can have a coffee/tea/aperitivo sitting down comfortably in either an armchair or on a sofa? A nice cosy place where you can meet with friends and have an aperitivo or a coffee almost like in a homey atmosphere? I think people would love it and really appreciate it.
Has all this hit a nerve?? I hope so.
Disagree? Fair enough…why?
I look forward to some healthy exchange of ideas.