Traditional food of Rome: the pinsa at Osteria la Greppia

I know, the first question that comes to mind is “what’s Pinsa”? I know because I asked it to myself too, although Roman (and I’m not ashamed to admit it, because it’s nice to never end learning). I’ll explain it, now that I informed myself (and ate it). The Pinsa, a traditional food of Rome, is the ancestor of focaccia, it was cooked by the ancient Romans, who used to eat it by putting vegetables, small pieces of meat or fruit on top of it. It is prepared using much lighter ingredients of classic pizza, making it an excellent replacement in case of diet: wheat flour, soy flour, which replaces lard, fats and oils, rice flour and wheat sour dough, that has no leavening power (so doesn’t even fill the stomach).

Pinsa Romana

I discovered my Pinsa at Osteria La Greppia, a few steps away from the Ponte Milvio in Parioli district. The restaurant is a little hidden away, hard to see even if it is board­side the road (Viale Tiziano). The bright side is the ease of finding a parking space, being it in an office area, the streets are practically empty in the evening.

Pinsa Romana alla Greppia

The location is very nice, simple but elegant. It is not the classic tavern, at least for me, also because I associate that word with the roman “fraschette”. In light colors, some wooden barrel here and there, candles at the tables… it is also ideal for a romantic dinner, despite serving traditional Roman cuisine, which is not known as a classy cuisine (but how good it is! In the face of caviar and champagne!)

Pinsa Romana - tavoli Greppia

You won’t find pizza, but only true Pinsa and traditional Roman cuisine. We also tried the “alla Greppia” fried mix, fried foods from the tradition such as vegetables, croquettes and stuffed olives, to the less traditional such as fruit and fried custard. 15 € for one serving, which can satisfy 2 or 3 persons. The taste is very peculiar. The croquettes were missing a bit of salt, but everything else was great. The contrast between the sweet of custard and fruit, and the salty may not suit every taste… I personally liked it, but in this case I don’t find it very akin to Roman cuisine.

Pinsa Romana - frittura

Even the Pinsa did not disappoint. They come in all types, from classics such as the Margherita, the traditional ones such as Amatriciana or cheese and pepper, to those more fancy as the one with Norwegian salmon. The dough is very soft and light and you get up from the table without that bloating feeling you might have after eating a whole pizza. Another feature of the Pinsa is the oval shape and the crispy and thin border, as usual. It is only left for you to try it, now, especially if you don’t even have the excuse of the diet!

Pinsa Romana - menù la greppia

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