Thursday, October 17, 2013
I’m usually pretty self controlled when it comes to eating. I have to be. I hang out in a lot of places where there is a lot of good food.
I’m especially good at not eating between meals, since meals - especially those in restaurants - tend to be multi-course explorations of as many items from the menu as I can manage.
But sometimes even I can’t walk by a whipped-cream-filled pastry.
Ok, I had my excuses handy. It was raining outside. I had just been to visit my accountant and needed a pick me up. I had had a really early lunch.
Take your pick. For whatever reason there was no way I was going to walk right past Natalizi without heading inside. For the first couple of seconds I even kidded myself that I was just going to have a coffee.
It was those fancy cakes in the display window that drew me in and it was one of those luscious, totally unnecessary and absolutely delicious pastries that I was gonna have.
I hadn’t been to Natalizi in about 15 years. Mostly because it’s over on the boarder of Parioli, a neighborhood I don’t get to that often. Thankfully nothing had changed at all. It is one of Rome’s oldest pastry shops and its kitchens below the shop take care of catering some of Rome’s fanciest parties in historic villas. The glass display case still stretched along one side of the small store, filled with old fashioned eclairs, cream filled puff pastries and my personal favorite: a sugar encrusted, whipped cream filled choux pastry.
I paid the cashier, picked up my pastry and wiggled myself a space standing at the curved bar between neighborhood regulars. An espresso certainly woke me up on that rainy afternoon, and the sweet treat definitely made me forget my visit to the accountant. (I’m shallow that way)
I was sorely tempted to get another pastry. Just one of the cute, pink-icing-topped, mignon eclairs. But, well, I do have a modicum of self control.
Via Po, 124-126 , Rome