Monday, October 12, 2009

Via Cola di Rienzo, one of the most dangerous places in Rome for an Expat.

I went to Castroni in Prati to buy one thing, BRITA water filters. That’s it.

Next thing I know my arms are filled with stuff I didn’t even buy back in the States. I got a grip and put everything back except for a box of black cherry Jello (yum!) and the Castroni brand of granola with cranberries (it’s very good).

Castroni stocks over 2000 imported foods. They have a great Asian foods section. Prices are probably cheap in shops near Piazza Vittorio but Prati is walking distance for me. There are a few locations. The Prati store is the biggest.

I’ve been hearing about Franchi, the deli next door, for at least a year. I stopped by and bought some imported English cheddar cheese. I was jonesing for a grilled cheese sandwich and was so happy to have a little cheddar back in my life. Clearly, it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

Franchi also has an amazing selection of cheeses from all over Italy. I found tonino there, a cheese I had in Piedmonte.

FYI for tourists, they do shrink wrap things so you can take them on the plane.

I love the presentation. I’ve never had my cheese and prosciutto tied up with pretty ribbon before. I now know to avoid that area when I'm hungry.

18 comments:

Kim B. said...

ah, the simple things in life, like a carefully wrapped cheese. One of the big benefits of living in Italia!

pizzeriaitalia said...

If you fancy cheese, ham, salame and this sort of things... you should try "La Tradizione" in via Cipro, near piazza Medaglie d'Oro. It is outrageously expensive... but thay have some of the best things you can get in Rome.

Valerie said...

It is dangerous to go when hungry!

You don't get your water from the nasone?

ieishah said...

we have one of these 'international foods' stores on traversera de grĂ cia in barcelona. i forget the name. mostly because the one time i did go, i walked out with rice krispie treats and a box of pancake mix. i admire your restraint.

Gil said...

Totally amazing at the pride the merchants have in Italy! It even carries over into to how they wrap up your purchases.

joanne at frutto della passione said...

When I lived in Rome I used to make pilgrimages there. It was different back then, so many more ethnic and foreign foods are available now. In the early 90's it was so hard, sometimes even impossible to find stuff. God, have I been here that long? Anyway, I only went rarely because the prices were so high and I wasn't making much back then. I'd love to go back for nostaglia's sake.

gibber said...

ah, there's a cheese and wine shop in northern va that makes lovely duck procuitto (however you spell that word). They too wrap all their cheese and meats in a nice white paper with a red ribbon. Makes me feel ok about spending ridiculous amounts of money on a tiny piece of meat!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

kimb - yes let's hear it for the simple things.

pizzeiatalia - thanks for the tip. I have no idea where that is.

valerie - No. Too many dogs in Rome. ha

ieishah - oh how I love Rice Krispie treats. Being broke is the only reason I didn't go crazy in that store. ha

gil - I know. It's one thing I love about living here

joanne - true some things we can even find in the regular supermarkets. Not pure vanilla extract though or baking powder (I might be looking under the wrong name)

gibber - nothing wrong with spending money on quality.

Scintilla @ Bell'Avventura said...

Expat or not, no one would be immune to those luxuries!

joanne at frutto della passione said...

You can make your own vanilla extract - 2 cups vodka + 6 to 8 vanilla beans, sliced down the middle. Let soak in a cool dark place for 2 months.

For baking powder I use lievito chimico (Pan Angelli is a typical brand) you just have to accept that it has added vanilla flavouring but that hasn't bothered me at all.

André said...

There are a number of Castroni stores in Rome, but the one in Via Cola di Rienzo is definetly the best. I'm giving it a visit every time I'm in Rome.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

scintilla - so true.

joanne - grazie mille.

andre - yes, it's fantastic.

glamah16 said...

Sounds like you hit the Mother Load.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

glamah16 - yes I did!

Lucy said...

Hi! You can now also buy 4 types of English cheese, including cheddar, at the Auchan supermarket chain. It's 3 euro a pack, and is made in England. You'll find it under the foreign cheeses section of the shelves (not at the cheese counter.)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Lucy - thanks for that tip. I haven't seen that chain of supermarkets. Are there any in the Center?

dia said...

Hey there! I just came accross your blog as I look for a Brita container here in Rome. Glad to hear you can get filters there, can you get the container too? I should probably check out your whole blog to see if you got more helpful hints for newbies in Rome. Thanks dia

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

dia - yes you can get the container there as well. Of course they are more expensive here. I bought a container with me but had run out of the refills. Hope things are going well with your move to Rome.