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Trying the best seasonal food in Rome can often be a culinary experience that's easily combined with a healthy diet. As an example, fruit and vegetables picked at the height of their freshness come with far greater nutritional benefits compared to those found out of season.

That's why well-respected and traditional restaurants in Rome tend to change their menu on a regular basis. Often dependent on which ingredients are available at that particular time of the year.

When in Italy one handy travel tip is to keep an eye out for menus offering specials that feature produce that's clearly out of season. Especially when you're in a tourist area, whereas following the locals and you're more likely to find a better quality of food and drink.

The Best Seasonal Food to Eat in Rome 1

The Best Seasonal Food to Eat in Rome

Our below guide to seasonal food in Rome is conveniently split into the four seasons, helping give you an idea of what to eat and when to eat it.

Spring

Artichokes are available from late winter into the spring, with the latter the best time to enjoy them at their finest. Often a popular choice in Rome, artichokes served slowly braised with garlic, fresh parsley, olive oil and mint can be absolutely delicious.

If you're after a healthy appetizer, then the stems of a "puntarelle" plant are extremely popular in Roman dishes. They are usually served tossed in olive oil and vinegar, garlic and anchovies for a refined dish of "Puntarelle Alla Romana".

Broad beans in Springtime pop up in pasta dishes, salads and soups. The traditional time to consume them is on May Day when they are served raw with pecorino cheese.

Ahhhh…the Roman broccoli, more like cauliflower with a nutty and sweet flavour. Commonly, boiled and tossed in a hot pan with olive oil and garlic, or for the more daring some freshly chopped red chilli.

Summer

The summer months bring plenty of fresh fish. As such, it's no surprise that fish-based dishes such as the popular pasta alle vongole feature heavenly on local menus. Likewise, pasta and spaghetti that are rich in meat during the winter are often replaced by versions with seafood come the summer months.

Also in the summer, there's an abundance of fruit and vegetables. Menus in Rome are fully laden with a huge amount of these in both savoury and sweet dishes.

As for aubergines/eggplant – sliced and fried, layered with tomato sauce, cubed mozzarella and fresh basil, and baked to make a fabulous Roman dish. Sweet peppers and juicy tomatoes feature heavily in Italian recipes, although getting the best flavour out of them depends on how ripe they are at the point of picking.

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Autumn

Harvest time in Autumn reveals truffles, pumpkin, porcini mushrooms and chestnuts. Italians have plenty of dishes that showcase their favourite vegetable, with simplicity often being the key to a good recipe.

Foraging mushrooms and truffles in the Autumn makes for a great day out. As such, with our food and drink experience in Rome, you'll be sure to discover the local food culture and traditional cuisine.

Although if you're buying luxurious truffles later in the year, it's worth doing your homework as only certain varieties are available. Whereas those picked in the Autumn and frozen are likely to lose their flavour once defrosted.

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Winter

Surprisingly in Italy, it's the citrus fruits that help brighten up the winter. Blood oranges, kiwis, pears and lemons are harvested at the turn of the year. Ensuring you get all the right vitamins during the colder and darker months.

As for winter vegetables, these include the likes of beetroot, cabbage and cauliflower. All of these are perfect when served in hearty stews, soups and other main meals - a real winter favourite!

The Best Seasonal Food to Eat in Rome

Whether it's pizza and pasta or a steaming bowl of local stew, finding the best seasonal food to eat in Rome brings with it the most authentic culinary desires. Click here to find out more about our food and drink experiences in Rome for 2023.

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