Visitors who travel to Italy usually know about dishes such as pasta alla carbonara and pizza margherita, but very few know about the Italian Jewish cuisine that has played an important part of Italian cooking for centuries. The Jewish community in Italy has decreased since the Second World War, but there are still strong traces of their traditions and culture today.
Walking through the windy street of Rome it can be easy to pass through the tiny Jewish Ghetto, and not even realize it. But it is a place worth visiting, especially if you are a foodie. There many kosher restaurants and a few kosher bakeries that line the main street. There is one bakery in particular that sells top notch goods. It is called Boccione’s and is easy to walk by without a glance if you have never heard of it. From both the inside and the outside the bakery doesn’t look like anything special, but at almost anytime of the day there is a line, especially in the mornings.
Boccione’s makes the same desserts daily; almond macaroons and cinnamon almond biscotti, ricotta pie (double-crusted, over-stuffed crostata), donuts, and my favorite: pizze ebraice, which are dense bricks of sweet dough bursting with whole almonds, pine nuts, raisins and chunks of candied fruit. The pastries are baked throughout the day to keep up with demand and they’re usually warm. Almost all of the forno’s sweets, are burnt practically to a crisp on top, but inside they’re always moist.
Boccione’s mouth-watering pastries and crostate usually sell out by late morning, especially on Sundays, but if you call ahead they’ll put aside whatever you desire.
Closed on Jewish high holidays, Friday afternoons, all day Saturdays.
Via Portico D’Ottavia, 1 (near Capitoline Hill)