Camedda 1970

I’m taking a short break from my Paris posts with a quick one about a wonderful restaurant (food, again, I know!) we stumbled upon in Rome.

My mom and I took a quick trip to Rome last week, as she wanted to take the chance we were in Europe to see the Vatican. As luck would have it, our flight en route was delayed by about an hour, so it was 2pm by the time we got ourselves settled into our hotel. Needless to say, we were famished.

Luckily, there were a few restaurants to choose from in the area where we were staying. Even luckier, we struck gold with the first restaurant we came across.

We chose to eat at Camedda 1970, because of the yummy-looking food the customers seated outside were eating and of the display case of meats, breads and cheeses that we could peek at from the door. Technically a bakery, dry goods store and wine bar, it was manned by two very charming old men (they were soooo cute, but I was to shy to ask for a photo). One spoke very little English, while the other, none at all. But with the help of a customer who translated, the tried-and-tested Filipino trick of turo-turo (i.e. pointing) and the super helpful grandpas, we were able to order food.

Their display case featured huge, round, white mounds of mozzarella di bufala, which they also proudly advertised outside the shop. The customers outside were also eating a salad that had it, so I figured, it must be good. And so my pointing and my attempts at Italian (one word: mozzarella) got me this:

Salad from CameddaYes, that’s TWO “knots” of mozzarella you see.

Correction. I know two Italian words. Tonno = tuna. So we also got this:

Salad from Camedda

So where did all my pathetic attempts at Italian get us?

To my favorite meal in Rome.

I don’t know if it was just because we were famished, but everything was brilliant. The tuna salad was extremely simple: pasta, olive oil, tomatoes, mozzarella, olives, tuna and herbs (parsley and basil, I think) but that’s the genius of it. All the flavors worked so well together. It was refreshing and light, not usually words you would associate with a pasta salad, or pasta, period.

And what of the salad of greens and mozzarella di bufala? I was initially wary because it was literally just that: cheese and leaves. And a little olive oil. Not very promising, right? But I underestimated the powers of really good, authentic mozarella cheese. The milky and creamy cheese was the perfect complement for the slightly bitter greens and olive oil, proof again to the claim that cheese does make everything better.

And when it’s mozzarella that fresh (as in it was soaking in bowls at the display counter), and velvety and gooey, how can it not? I’ve never had anything like it before, all firm, stringy, and perfect and white… this is the stuff cheese dreams are made of.

We were so lucky the we found Camedda two minutes from where we were staying. Although, not lucky enough to have it around the corner back home.

Camedda 1970: 46 Via Fornaci, Rome (it’s less than a five minute walk from St. Peter’s Square. If you’re facing the cathedral, it would be on your left side).