The maritozzo in Rome
The choice is difficult, but as always, distinctions must be made. There are many good maritozzo pastries in Rome, but which are the best? We gathered the most specialised addresses in Rome’s for favorite breakfast pastries, in the classic, savoury or quaresimale version. First, however, a brief word on the origins: it is a sweet bread that in Roman times was given to the future wife by the fiancé––maritozzo is a shift of the Italian word for “husband”––who had to insert a ring or other gold object in it as a token of love. Other stories maintain that the pastry was prepared in the shape of a heart, to be offered by girls of marriageable age to the most beautiful young man in the village, who looked to marry the best cook. Once made with flour, eggs, honey, butter and salt, today maritozzo is prepared with flour, water, yeast, sugar, milk and olive oil. And lots of whipped cream! Here’s where to find the best in Rome.
Where to eat maritozzo in Rome
For many it is the Maritozzo of Rome, the classic filled with fresh whipped cream, a soft and well leavened dough, yielding to the bite, divided in half by the iconic mound of cream, symbolic of Roman breakfasts. But its inviting appearance must not obscure another exquisite version of the dessert that Regoli makes to perfection: the quaresimale, or the Lenten Maritozzo, less known but just as good, smaller in size and studded with candied fruit and raisins.
Hidden in the most touristic Trastevere neighbourhood, in the alleys that surround the beautiful square of Santa Maria in Trastevere, this tiny restaurant, Maritozzo Rosso, features savoury maritozzo, the perfect snack for a lunch break or a delicious dish for a generous aperitif. A few examples incluse maritozzo all’amatriciana; maritozzo with eggplant caponata; with chicken curry and apples, or stracciatella cheese and anchovies.
On the counter, the maritozzo by Roscioli Caffè makes a fine show: soft and puffy, filled with lots of fresh whipped cream, and filled at the moment is another of the most popular maritozzo in town. Ideal for a delicious breakfast, while for an aperitif you can opt for one of the many savoury variations available.
Burnished and with a shiny surface, the marozzo at Casa Manfredi is a nice way to start the day. Merit goes to Giorgia Proia, creator of the flaky croissants that have conquered the palate of Roman gourmands. For lovers of tradition, the maritozzo here does not disappoint, with wisps of whipped cream in the center and a light sprinkling of icing sugar on the surface.
It’s known, Bompiani in the Tor Marancia district is a guarantee for a fine breakfast. Alongside the two-flavour croissants, stuffed with creams and jams, stuffed krapfens and donuts, there’s also the maritozzo. Well leavened, with a compact and soft dough, generously filled with lots of delicious whipped cream, it’s sweet but never cloying.
For a relaxing break, there is nothing better than Cafè Merenda, a small but very welcoming coffee bar, tastefully furnished and with an intimate and familiar atmosphere. Here, too, you can find a fine maritozzo, lovingly prepared by pastry chef Chiara Caruso, Sicilian by birth but now Roman by adoption. Puffy and fragrant, they are abundantly filled with fresh whipped cream: the ideal solution for those who want to pamper themselves in the morning..
by Michela Becchi