vendredi 17 octobre 2008

Antico Forno, and more importantly Brutti Ma Buoni, in Rome

I stumbled across Antico Forno, a small bakery near the Trevi fountain, completely by accident. On my way back from a phenomenal meal at l'Orso 80 (the New York Times steered me right on that one), I got distracted by the cookie displays and went inside. Having already consumed large amounts of gelati, I really wasn't planning on having dessert, but these cookies looked likely to haunt me forever if I didn't try at least one.

I approached the counter and asked "Parla inglese?", my most well-used italian phrase, and got the answer every lazy english-speaking tourist dreads: a very solemn shake of the head. Not to worry, I had also learned the phrase "I want..." for just this occasion.

"Verreo... una brutti ma buoni..." I started awkwardly. I was clearly already mangling the italian language, and then I realised I didn't know the italian word for "and". I sort of coughed, to indicate my sentence wasn't over, and then pointed to a green cookie studded with pistachios. I ate them in the street on my way back to the Trevi fountain. The pistachio cookie was good, but the brutti ma buoni was better. Although I have to admit at that point in my stay in Rome I was firmly in love with brutti ma buoni, a chewy, almondy, coconutty little knob of a thing. It also gets points for how appropriate its name is. It really is ugly, but boy is it good.

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