Skip to main content

A bit of Rome at home



After some desktop research, I learned that panini means rolls or little breads. In Italy, the word is synonymous with sandwiches. Italians and Europeans in general savour panini as light snacks between meals or as a prelude to meals. Ok, that sets the background although to me, panini would make a light but satisfying meal when accompanied with side salads and soups.

My first authentic, or what I hoped to be, paniniwas eaten during my trip to Europe last May. When in Rome, act as the Romans do, so acting as if it was an everyday thing for me, I boldly placed an order for one at a neighbourhood cafe, where else but in Rome. To be frank, I had no idea what I had ordered; I just pointed to the display. How I derived at my choice was quite simple: I was sucked in by the firm grill marks, which somehow leaves me with special impressions of "hand made" and "personalised" qualities.

First bite into the sandwich was indescribable. I started to marvel at the simplicity of the toasted sandwich, - crusty on the outside yet warm and sticky from the melting mozzarella cheese and the added color by the chopped spinach. To me, the good grill marks resulted in a crisp crust and that was half the battle won there. Now, I salivate just by thinking of it.

So when I visited Ricciotti Italian Deli & Pastry a couple of nights ago, I knew I wanted a panini without second thoughts. The only choice I had to make was the filling. Finally, I decided on the "orto". What arrived was a panini made on fresh, crusty Italian bread, although I would prefer the bread to be slightly thinner, and filled with grilled peppers and aubergine and a generous spreading of basil pesto, albeit it was just on one side. The combination of the crisp crust and the moisten-by-pesto-spread inside, was an delightful one. The first bite was familiar and brought on a crackle and instantly, fond memories of my backpacking trip were revived! To think I was actually sick of all sandwiches by the time I touched down into Singapore. I was all breaded-out by the ridiculous consumption of the yeasty-wonder, existing in all sorts of variety. How can I be in Europe and not eat the origins of good bread? Hehe, other than the fact that I was travelling on a tight, tight budget. I could not believe I was actually sandwiched-out! No way! Biting into my first panini in Singapore reminded me how much I luuurrvveee bread! It made me wonder again, if I had been born in the wrong geographical region, because in Singapore, rice was the staple and not bread. Nonetheless, I am glad I can find some good bread and sandwiches in Singapore now.

Although this panini cannot compare to the one I had in Rome, it was a good substitution. Dining al-fresco by the Singapore river is also an added luxury. A lazy afternoon, with a good book in hand and J by my side, topped off with a cup of cappuccino and a freshly made Italian pastry, who is to say I'm not in Rome?

Comments

Dreska said…
I love this article! I go to a food restaurant-canteen-place (Il Giardino) here in England every Friday where they do these fantastic paninis, ciabattas, pastries, lunches, oh, what the palate just asks for..
My hubby and I were discussing the British and Italian talent for food prep, they definitely have the 'know-how'.
Dominique said…
I was a big fan of the paninis they served in my university cafe in London. Just the other day, my colleagues asked what food we missed the most from London. A friend said Indian, another said Thorntons chocolate, and I said the paninis from my uni cafe. They looked at me as though I was mad. Heh.

I'll certainly give Ricciotti paninis a try some day soon.

By the way, love the name of the site as well as your blog itself!
LiquidShaDow said…
Nice, have been looking for paninis. Will check this place out.

Popular posts from this blog

Towards Weaning.

Since my last post, I have tried to implement a few changes to make things better.  For one, I have decided to stop feeling so stressed about pumping enough milk for A.  Fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, after 9 months of pumping without mastitis (blocked ducts yes, mastitis no), I suffered not 1 but 2 episodes of mastitis over 2 consecutive weeks, right boob then left. The supply tanked after the first episode and I decided to take the opportunity to slow things down and gradually wean.  Even though the mental determination was there, it was still affecting me psychologically. I mean, after going through the first few months of suffering through the 3-hourly pumping schedule and building up a decent supply, and then reaching a nice maintenance mode where pumping became easier and a way of life for me, it was hard to let go.

Nonetheless, after the second round, and the supply continued to tank, I thought enough is enough.  Final straw was when the Spectra …

The Wedding Gowns

The Man and I tied the knot on 1.3.14, a popular date because of the homonym when read in Chinese: 一生一世, which literally means, a lifetime, if I am not wrong. Anyway, just for the record, we didn't select the date because of that reason, but on hindsight, it made a very nice coincidence and we won't easily forget our wedding anniversary I suppose. When we got engaged, we went researching for the wedding banquet venue right away (more on that later), and then followed by the wedding gown.  After consulting a few recent brides,  unsolicited input from others, and research on bridal forums, I decided I would like to go ala carte. I also eliminated the Tanjong Pagar bridal studios because I admit I am biased and my mind conjures up an imagery of a typical Tanjong Pagar bride that is wearing a tiara, white gloves, a big poofy ballgown and lots of bling.  I shudder uncontrollably at that thought before and even now that the wedding is over.
Eventually, I visited the following few and…

How do you juggle it all :( ?

I just feel that I don't have enough time - for the husband and  much less for myself!

During the workday, I make sure I try to go home on time so I could spend a couple of hours with A, and put him to bed. Then it's time to have my last pump at about 9pm before I just want to  zone out and crash.  The boy wakes up at least 3 times ever since his last leap when he learnt how to stand. Additionally, he fell really ill for the first time (i.e. antibiotics).  Prior to that, he cries 1-2 times but easily soothed with pacifier or with some milk. Because of these frequent interrupted sleep, the man and I took turns to fall ill as well, and it is difficult to recover. I still have the head colds and occasionally coughing spells.

On weekends, our schedule revolves around family events, and then I try to plan so that A can try to get a nap or 2 as well as to plan our routes throughout the day so I would end up somewhere comfortable to pump when I needed to.  Often the nap part fails,…