Blu Aubergine Blog

QUICK BITES: Il Maritozzaro, Roma

Rome is no longer the late-night, curfew-free city it once was. In many ways, this is a sad change, and my friends and I often reflect on the crazy times we had in bars that stayed open until the owners wanted to go to bed, and in clubs that opened at 4:30 or 5 a.m. where you danced until noon. Times have changed, and alas, so have we all, to some degree. But the great thing about Rome is that it never completely changes, it never morphs into a city that's unrecognizable, like so many urban centers. It is in many ways, as its nickname suggests, The Eternal City. And one of my favorite holdovers from my late-night jaunts around the Eternal City still exists:  Il Maritozzaro near the Trastevere train station. 

For the uninitiated, a maritozzo is basically a freshly-baked brioche bun, torpedo-shaped like an oversized hot dog bun, but faintly sweet and fluffy and light, and barely warm with a few crisp, buttery corners. When you order one, the barman behind the counter fills it with freshly whipped cream, smoothing it out along the top like delicious, decadent spackle.The original version of the brioche, intended as an offering for newlyweds (hence its name) also contained raisins and dried fruit and orange zest and probably resembled panettone more than anything, but I prefer the simplicity and beauty of the maritozzo in its current form.
The Maritozzaro even makes other pastries, including the standard breakfast fare of cornetti (sweetened croissants) and cream-filled donuts. These are fine, but not why I come to the Maritozzaro. I suppose you could pair your maritozzo with a turbo-charged espresso or for breakfast with a cappuccino. It certainly qualifies as a morning waker-upper (though you might need a nap once it's consumed!). But I prefer to think of the whipped cream-filled delicacy as a dreamy, end-of-the-evening indulgence, after a few too many glasses of vino and some limoncello. On a crisp Roman evening, it doesn't get much better. 

Il Maritozzaro
Via Ettore Rolli, 50
00153 ROMA
+06 581 0781