Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Panini Bonanza

I've been writing a lot about food in my time here, but that's only because it's so... damn... delicious.

Seriously! I can't get enough of the food here. And as I've written before, it's a lot of carbs. Thankfully, I've avoided putting on the pounds because of all the walking I do, in addition to all the fresh fruits and vegetables I eat.

Gelato, pizza... and now paninis!

Funny thing about Paninis... the American name for it is actually incorrect in several ways. First, panini is plural for panino, which is a loaf of bread used for sandwich making. So not only are you saying you want more than one when you say "Panini please!" but you're saying that you'd like more than one loaf of bread instead of more than one sandwich.

Confusing. I know. However, the Italians have caught on to the tourists' stupidity and caved to the fact that people will visit and order a panini instead of a panino, and that they will expect a sandwich instead of a loaf of bread. So, when you walk into a sandwich shop, feel free to continue using Panini, as long as it's in a more touristy area.

As I did with gelato and pizza, I have two favorite sandwich shops in the city.

Il Fornaio
As with their pizza, Il Fornaio win again with their sandwiches (location mentioned in previous post). Not only are many of their sandwiches made with their pizza bianco (a white pizza bread with no sauce, only a little olive oil), they slice the pizza into a top and bottom and stick all kinds of deliciousness inbetween. Prosciutto crudo or cotto, lettuce, spinach, egg, zucchini, mozzarella, eggplant, fontina, swiss cheese, parmesian, turkey, a tuna are just a few of the many ingredients they may be serving on their sandwiches that day. Their salami is also something to be tried, more so perhaps than any other food item, and it's not hard to see why when you lay your eyes on the enormous salami roll sitting in their doorway. I can guarantee, you will not be disappointed with any of their "paninis."

DueCento Gradi
Around the corner from Old Bridge Gelateria (one of the gelato places I raved about two posts ago) is DueCento Gradi... quite a sandwich place. Located in Piazza Risorgimento, this little hole in the wall sandwich place is surprisingly large on the interior. However, their fairly priced paninis are almost better eaten wrapped in the brown paper, standing up outside on a sunny day after spending the morning in the Vatican Museums. Their sandwiches are named after locations both in Rome and in Italy, and each one lives up to the name. You can have essentially any type of sandwich fixin that you can think of in your panini, and the combinations are endless. My recommendations? The Siena or the Popolo.

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