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Rosticceria – Italy’s Slow Food Takeaways

A ‘rosticceria‘ is possibly the Italian equivalent of fast food, only this does not mean hamburgers or pizza and the like, but ‘real’ food. Really, Italy’s rosticceria are a slow food takeaway service.

Yes, a “slow food takeaway” might sound like a contradiction in terms, but it is not, I assure you.

Rosticcerias are quite common in Italy, some are average, and others are excellent – and in the good ones, the food on sale is restaurant quality, though the price is much lower. Wine is often sold too, so if you fancy a drop of red with your meal, you’ve got it.

What are rosticceria?

Italy’s rosticceria are basically shops which prepare and cook a variety of dishes, both cold and hot, ranging from roasted meats and pasta through to vegetables and salads. The hot dishes are kept good and hot.  I’m not 100% certain, but I’m pretty sure most of the food is prepared on the spot.

You simply choose (actually, it’s not always that simple to choose as the choice can be overwhelming!) what appeals and it is all nicely packaged for you. Then you just take it home and tuck in. Just the thing when you can’t be bothered to cook, or even, possibly, when you have unexpected guests. Yes, the quality can be that good – our local rosticceria here in Milan is excellent. Keep reading to find out more.

This kind of convenient quality slow food takeaway service is often frequented by older people too, which comes as no surprise to me as it would be fair to say that many of the pensioners in our area of Milan are not short of cash.

Open All Week

These really useful rosticceria slow food joints are often open throughout the week until the early evening, and many open on Sunday mornings too. You can pre-order a roast chicken beforehand, as long as your Italian is up to scratch. Watch out at weekends though; especially during the winter months; as all the best stuff goes pretty early.

A Recent Visit to Our Rosticceria

Yesterday, my other half paid a visit to our local rosticceria which is under 10 minutes on foot from our house in Milan.

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On our menu was: Lasagne, ‘Capriolo’ – or Roe dear/venison, cooked in a red wine sauce, polenta, and lentils. It was all extremely tasty, and the venison was tender and wonderful, as usual.

Pot Luck Menu

Now, this particular rosticceria does not do venison every day, the ‘menu’ is quite varied, so you never really know quite what to expect – but that is part of the fun.

Game Galore

During the cooler months; read, more or less from late September on; venison – Roe, Fallow or Red deer, and wild boar dishes, often braised in red wine, become more common. But even if there is no game, there is often roast chicken (and if you are not ravenous, you can purchase half a chicken), ‘lo stinco di maiale’ – pork shin (very good), and veal dishes. All is very well cooked and ready to eat.

10 Euros More than McDonald’s

This good food does come at a price, of course, but for around 30 Euros, three people can eat very well, and seeing as this is only about 10 Euros more than three menus from good old McDonalds, choosing between the two places is pretty easy. The difference in price is not that high, but the difference in quality is abyssal.

Try finding similar quality food in a restaurant for around 10 Euros a head in Milan, and you will be hunting for rather a long time – becoming more and more ravenous in the process.

For that matter, if you tried to cook what you can buy in a rosticceria, the price of all the ingredients would probably be higher than the cost of a rosticceria prepared meal.  And you don’t have all those pots and pans to wash up either.

Ah, the rosticceria, yet another great reason for living in Italy. And before anyone says anything, I put my diet on hold yesterday – I mean, I don’t get to eat venison that often, and I love it.

A plate of wild boar braised in red white might be in order next week.

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