chocolate hippos

rome, part 1

I was lazy.  I went to Rome, but got too lazy from all the drinking and walking and eating to write to you about all of my adventures.  Then I went to Tuscany, and told myself I would catch up on my writing in Tuscany.  But there was more wine and more food and a fabulous visit to meet new friends, and I remained lazy.

So now I am back in New York, and struggling to remember all of the good (and bad) in Rome.  So, here we go…..

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First on the agenda, I checked in to my modern, spacious (for Europe) room at Babuino 181.  Centrally located a few blocks from the Spanish Steps and near lots of upscale shops and cafes, it was the perfect spot for a long weekend in Rome. Even better than the Nespresso machine in every room is the rooftop wine bar for pre dinner aperitifs that also serves a continental breakfast in morning.

But enough about the hotel…I’m really in Rome for the food.  First up, gelato.  Now, I’ve told you before about my weakness for ice cream in Argentina, which happens to be very much like Italy’s gelato, except that they don’t have dulce de leche flavor (yet).  After hours of research, I decided on 3 gelaterias that I had to visit.  One was so good, I went back twice.

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Gelateria Fatamorgana is a small chain in Rome that makes one of the best chocolate gelato/ice cream/helado that I have had.  And I am not normally a fan of chocolate frozen desserts.  The frozen chocolate dessert that had me returning was the Kentucky Gelato, which is tobacco-chocolate flavored.  I was blown away by the way the tobacco enhanced the richness of the chocolate….sort of the way coffee is used to enhance some chocolate desserts.  The first day I got a scoop of Kentucky and a scoop of cinnamon.  Day 2 was 2 giant scoops of Kentucky.

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Breakfast on our second day was at Cremeria Monteforte, for espresso granita con panna…..basically frozen espresso ice with whipped cream.  It was the perfect caffeine jolt for my jet lagged body.  I could have used a little more of the strong espresso granita and less of the rich panna, but who am I to protest?  My friend Peter tried the chocolate gelato instead of the granita, and said it was good, but didn’t hold a candle to the Kentucky gelato found at Fatamorgana.

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The last of the gelato visits was for Caramel Meringue at Il Gelato di San Crispino.  The caramel flavor was quite subtle, but what really stands out are the sweet, crispy bits of meringue swirled throughout.  How do they keep the meringue so crispy???  If you go here, you must order one of the meringue flavors.

Stay tuned for my report on pizza and trattorias….

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