From civilian food to classic Italian appetizers
A rambling about Trippa alla Romana
義大利料理（義大利語：Cucina italiana，英語：Italian Cuisine）有「西餐之母」的稱號，是廣泛流傳於世界各地的菜系之一，融合了「南歐地中海料理」及「西歐精緻飲食」的精華，具有強烈的獨特風格。從歷史與地理的角度來看，義大利自古由各個城邦或王國組成，由於政治經濟長期的變動，使得原本各自獨立的區域性飲食，在傳遍全國之後又融入當地，而衍生出多變的菜餚，因此義大利料理具有非常豐富的多元性。
Italian cuisine (Cucina italiana) dubbed as the "Mother of Western Cuisine" and is one of the most celebrated cuisines around the world. It combines the spirit of "Southern European Mediterranean diet" and "Western European fine dining", with its unique style. From its historic and geographic perspective, Italy is comprised of various city-states, kingdoms since ancient times. Due to the long-term changes in the politic and economy, regional diets have spread throughout the country. Later, these dishes were integrated into the local area, evolving into more variety of dishes. Therefore, Italian cuisine has a very rich diversity.
Features of Italian Cuisine
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Photo by Adonyi Gábor from Pexels
Italian cuisine translate to deliver fresh ingredients and natural flavors. Tomatoes, corn and potatoes are all classic ingredients in Italian cuisine. Italians also like to use sauces to enhance the taste, so that the food has a richer flavor. In general, fresh and original flavors, bright colors and diverse seasonings are the most distinctive features of Italian cuisine, and that's what makes it appealing.
Italy is large producer of olives, thus olive oil became an indispensable element in Italian cuisine as nearly 90% of Italian dishes uses it. Italian wine also plays a pivotal role, and the grading standards are very strict. The annual output accounts for nearly one-fifth of the world's total consumption. A proper glass of table wine can also complete a dinner party. So when it comes to Italian food, a fine wine has to be included.
Northern Italian food is known for its dairy products due to high mountains and seasoned with herbs and mushrooms; Southern Italy is rich in tomatoes and olives, and the fishing industry is relatively developed. Italian staples are most representative in the form of pizza and pasta; Desserts are also widely loved, especially Tiramisu and gelato; Venice and Naples have the most distinctive seafood dishes because of the fact that they are by the sea.
The past and present of "Roman-style cuisine"
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During ancient Roman Empire, the ingredients and dishes were also influenced by various cultures. For example, the Greeks and Jews developed their own unique dishes in Italy, which became parts of today's Italian cuisine. In particular, the influence of Greek culture is profound. The prevalence of trade has greatly increased imported food. Aristocrats are becoming more and more particular about the dishes for dinner, and the portions are also increasing. So in addition to main meals and desserts, many appetizers have been developed.
羅馬式風味的菜餚，在義大利料理分類上屬於「拉齊奧烹飪」（義大利語：Cucina Laziale，英語：Lazio Cuisine），最大特色就在於對開胃菜的重視，而且通常是重口味的料理，如香辣茄汁筆尖麵，和五花肉混搭羊奶奶酪製成的阿馬特里切空心乾麵條（Bucatiniall Amatriciana）。廣為人知的培根蛋麵（spaghetti alla carbonara），以及烤小羊肉（Abbacchio）和羅馬式炒小牛肉（Saltimbocca Alla Romana）這幾道知名料理，也源自拉齊奧地區。
Roman-style dishes belong to "Lazio cuisine" (Cucina Laziale) in the Italian cuisine classification. Its biggest feature lies in its emphasis on appetizers, and it is usually a heavy-tasting dish. Such as Macaroni in spicy tomato sauce (penne all'arrabbiata), and Bucatiniall Amatriciana, which made with pork belly and feta cheese. The well-known egg noodles with bacon (spaghetti alla carbonara), as well as the famous dishes such as roast lamb (Abbacchio) and sautéed veal in Rome (Saltimbocca Alla Romana), also originate from the Lazio region.
Evolved from "Butcher's Cuisine" to "Trippa alla Romana"
羅馬式燉牛肚（Trippa alla Vaccinara或Trippa alla Romana），Vaccinara這個詞原來是「屠夫式」的意思。屠夫們活用牛尾、小牛腸、牛肚和牛內臟等牛隻剩餘部位，製成各式美味菜餚，「羅馬式燉牛肚」就是其中一道。這道菜約在十八世紀末被發明，燉煮的過程很簡單，但卻能滿足味蕾，風味十足。想不到，好吃的牛肉部位被貴族先挑走後，這些剩肉經過庶民智慧大改造，也能拼湊出一道美味的平民美食。
Tripe in Rome ("Trippa alla Vaccinara"or"Trippa alla Romana") , the word "Vaccinara" originally means "butcher's style". Butchers use ox tails, veal intestines, tripe, viscera and other remaining parts of cattle to make various delicious dishes. "Tripe in Rome" is one of them. Originated near end of 18th century, this dish is a simple, yet flavorful stew. The premium beef cuts were consumed by the nobles and these leftover parts where then made into delicious commoners food which later become classics.
The tripe is boiled and seasoned with ingredients such as onion, celery, bay leaf, garlic and pepper. The stew is also very particular about with the basic vegetable ingredients of onion, parsley, carrots, and stewed tomatoes, seasoned with minced garlic, white wine, tomato puree, and garnished with mint leaves, salt, pepper and cheese. Aged fat is also the important component of this dish, usually from the fat of ham or pork cheek, which pairs very well with the flavor of tripe. The tomato flavor is another highlight of this dish. The stewed tomatoes are mashed and mixed with other vegetables, and then topped with tomato puree. The rich sweet and sour taste is appetizing. No wonder this dish is a classic appetizer in Rome!
Dotard Village follows the traditional method cooking it with onion, tomato, celery, spices and chicken stock then simmering the tripe over low heat. It presents a rich aroma, layered flavor profile, and a pleasant finishing note in the palate. Every bite into the dish gives provides a glimpse peak into its rich history. The combined experience of food and culture elevates the senses and one can truly appreciate the food presented.