Wednesday, May 4, 2011
It’s getting to be that time of year when snack time turns to thoughts of something cool and creamy. Gelato, for sure. But it’s also when I start to have cravings for frullati. And when I want a frullati there is really only one place that I have in mind.
I’ve been going to Frullati Pascucci since I was 12. I had just moved to Rome from St. Louis, with my family, and while my sisters and I were all very adventurous eaters, we also didn’t mind when something looked kind of familiar. We would order Vitello Milanese just because my father told us it was fried chicken. And frullati of course were just a different version of a Steak-n-Shake milkshake.
One of the things that kept me going back to Pascucci over the years was that it never changed. I kept going back when I was a teenager, and on through the years during my pregnancies when all I could manage was a frosty glass of goodness. The same hand-written signs, the same worn linoleum floor. And of course the same row of battered blenders that were constantly humming.
So you can imagine my distress when I saw that they had closed for ‘renovation’ over this past winter. Renovation in Rome usually means one of two things. A place has either closed for good, or else they are ripping out any shred of history and charm. Fortunately - or unfortunately?- it was the latter.
Pascucci has reopened. Bright and shiny, full of chrome, neon lighting and sparkling tiled floors.
That said, it is still the same Pascucci. The same tubs of fruit marinating in sugar. The same bottles of juices and syrups. And of course the same row of industrial strength blenders ready to whip up my favorite Amalfi, a mix of citrus and strawberries, tangy, sweet and cold.
Yes, they have new ‘soda fountain’ glasses. Yes, the barmen are wearing spiffy new uniforms. But if I close my eyes, wrap my lips around my straw, and let the whir of the blenders drown out the world around me, it’s still the same Pascucci that settles my cravings.
Via di Torre Argentina 20