Thursday, 12 January 2017

Roberto and his cheeses

We first met Roberto in 2010. Our stay in an apartment on Via Benedetta had been extended by a week, due to the now infamous Icelandic volcano, and we had settled into a routine of a daily shop at San Cosimato market followed by a visit to Antica Caciara, Roberto's food emporium in Trastevere.
Roberto spoke little English & our Italian was woefully poor (even after years of study!) but even so we managed a conversation every morning.
Roberto has worked in the shop over 50 years and is unfailingly courteous & kind to all, whether neighbours or strangers.
Antica Caciara was founded by Roberto's grandfather in 1900. Local farmers would bring their cheeses, made from sheep's milk, in from the countryside surrounding Rome, to be sold in the shop.
Cheese still is the main feature here and we always make a point of purchasing ricotta from the little plastic baskets to make fluffy pancakes - yet another Rome ritual of ours. We serve these with local honey, also purchased from Roberto.

Sometimes we deliberately visit on a Monday to buy the creamy burrata that comes in from Puglia. We pair this with semi sun dried tomatoes to replicate a famous Roscioli dish

Perhaps the star of the show are the wheels of ricotta from the farm of Roberto's uncle. This wonderful salty hard cheese is made from sheeps milk and is used in the classic pasta dish, cacio e pepe. It is also delicious eaten with pears.

We have returned to see Roberto every year since 2010 and each time he greets us as long lost friends.

Visit Antica Caciara's Facebook page at Antica Caciara Trasteverina for more information on this delightful Trastevere institution.

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