Meet Shaheen Peerbhai, a food blogger and culinary student who lives in Paris. In 2011, Shaheen was awarded prestigious scholarships from The Culinary Trust and The James Beard Foundation to make her lifelong dream come true: attend the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. She soon left her office job to embark on Pastry and Cuisine degrees in Paris and London. She shares her experience, as well as delicious recipes and travel tales on her blog, The Purple Foodie. Here’s Rome, in her own words.
My Edible City
Rome. When traveling, I decide on visiting a place only if it’s home to great food. So everything I’ve eaten, be it char keow teow in Penang, paella in Spain, pintxos in Andorra, rabbit cooked in cherry beer in Brussels or scones and clotted cream in London make for food memories I deeply cherish. But if I really had to pick, my ideal meal would be dinner in Rome and and then back to Paris for dessert (because there’s just no beating the French at making great desserts). Everything you eat in Rome is just packed with flavor: be it the pizza from around the corner or the deep fried artichokes in the Jewish ghetto. Roman food reaffirms that the when the food is fresh and simple, it tastes best. Rome is dotted with family run Trattorias and Osterias that have a charm of their own. Another reason why I love Rome is for its colorful markets and unparalleled olive oil. On my last trip, I purchased check-in luggage on the Easyjet flight just so I could bring back a few bottles of olive oil with me.
My Favorite Dish
Pizza by the slice at La Renella. On my last trip to Rome, I’d eat at La Renella, a lovely little bakery in the trendy Trastevere, every single day. I’d pop in usually in the morning for my slice of artichoke and ham pizza or tomato and olive pizza fresh out of the oven, brushed with extra virgin olive oil. Then, if we weren’t rushing to go sightseeing or to check off another place on our “Must-Eat” list, we’d sit there a little longer and snack on their chocolate chip and ricotta tart, sour cherry pie or their amaretti Sardi. This lovely bakery makes some pretty amazing bread as well. I had the good fortune of visiting the back of the bakery, and here I saw them use hazelnut shells as fuel, giving their bread the characteristic flavour. It also doesn’t hurt that the guy at the counter at La Renella is utterly gorgeous.
- Video: All About Trastevere, one of Rome’s most atmospheric neighborhoods
- Shaheen’s guides to Rome: Eating in Rome, Gelato Tour and Campo de’ Fiori
- Shops, Restaurants, Gelaterie, Tours and More: My Favorite Addresses in Rome
- How to Make Roman-Style Pizza, at Home
Next Week on Edible Cities
Next week, Melanie Saucier, a designer and design blogger originally from Quebec City, currently living in Toronto and moving to Sacramento, CA in the next few weeks (phew!), is taking us to Capri, Italy. Don’t miss it!
Photo credits: All pictures by Shaheen Peerbhai.