Saturday, February 13, 2010

Diet disaster

I have been trying to shed those post-christmas extra pounds ever since well, christmas, and failing miserably. The problem is my new line of work. It frequently takes me out onto the streeets and leads me nose-first into the enticing perfumed bounds of delicious treats. Whether they are sweet, savoury, creamy, crunchy, fruity, warm, hot or cold I have absolutely NO willpower when it comes to Italian snacking treats.

The first danger hurdle comes a little before lunchtime when I walk past a pizzeria al taglio (this is bound to happen as they are on practically every street) and smell the bready, cheesy yeasty smells wafting out. I decide that I definitely can't wait that whole half hour that's left before lunch, run in before my conscience tells me not to and order a slice of pizza bianca, a heavenly-when-still-warm concotion of pizza base, oil and salt. Here's a photo, though it can't do it justice:

I'm doing fine and my stomach is pleasantly full mid-afternoon when walking between lessons when I smell that warm sugar and cream smell that can only mean one thing...a pasticceria. And, if I'm feeling weak (most of the time), in I hop to order my fav mid-afternoon sugary treat, an occhio di bue ("eye of an ox"). The best ones are so overloaded with icing sugar that you spill it all down your front and then notice only 10 minutes after leaving, when you will frantically try to brush it off whilst feeling your mouth watering all over again with the memory of the delicious pastry. Here's another pic:

Finally, the day is almost over and my poor stomach thinks it's going to get a rest. Oh no! No you don't! Not if we're going to pass through Piazza Sempione on the way home and have to wait for the bus. Because why would we want to wait for the bus in the cold, at night, with the drunks and misfits, o stomach, when we could take refuge in the bright-lighted, coffee-scented night bar and get a fresh cornetto con nutella and cappuccino. Words cannot describe the genius of the cornetto so I won't try. I only want to say that I regret all the wasted years of my life eating boring po-faced savoury croissants never knowing there were these amazing butter and sugar concotions filled with heart-attack inducing creams and custards:

This is the ultimate Roman way to end your night if you've had a late one. If you're feeling particulalry weak of conscience you could even orchestrate a reprise just a few hours later at breakfast time.

Just make sure you start the diet on Monday...or even this year.

My favourite occhio di bue in Rome is from "I Dolcissimi". Piazza Ragusa, 6. Re di Roma area.

My local cornetto notte joint (and a very good one it is too) is "L'angolo russo". Corso Sempione, 13. Montesacro.


  1. Oh my god. Cornetto con crema is just DIVINE. And have you resorted to nutella spooned straight out of the jar yet? Nom Nom Nom! Oh! And what about fiori and carciofi? God, if I lived in Roma I'd be stuffing my face with them all the time. It's just as well for my waistline that I live out in the sticks ...

  2. I love it ALL... this is embaressing but I have had Two breakfasts just to satify my cornetto cravings! yeah i need a diet too!

  3. I'm very glad to read Katja's comment about nutella...nice to know I'm not alone!

    We spent the week in Rome...NOT a good place for a diet! Although our problem could have been that we were on vacation and sat down for an aperitivo anytime we wanted to. :)

  4. Ha ha, it seems Italy brings out the greedy guts in all of us! This feels like a confessional for the glutton society! Post about your dark and dirty cornetto cravings here...