Fresh and good, the Roman itch is the undisputed protagonist of the summer in the capital, a sweet street food to try at least once in your life.
Born in the alleys of Trastevere, the Grattachecca Romana is one of the most loved by the Romans and is appreciated by all tourists who flock to the city. We could therefore define it, a "street food", a true tradition handed down from generation to generation in the historic kiosks of Rome.
Many think that the scratcher and the granita are the same, but it is not so!
Let’s discover together the differences:
- The Granita has a softer texture and grainy being put to freeze only after, mixing water and sugar and other ingredients, such as juices and syrups that make it colorful and irresistible to taste;
- The Grattachecca is nothing more than the granita of Rome, but different in its consistency because it comes directly from the ice that from this directly scraped with an iron spatula.
The origins of the Grattachecca Romana
The definition of "grattachecca" takes its name from the verb "scratching" and from the Roman noun "checca", that is the name with which the Romans called the block of ice used to keep fresh drinks and food, when the refrigerator still did not exist.
However, the itch has origins in ancient Rome, when the patricians, with refined tastes, loved to taste the "nivatae potiones", a sweet made with snow honey, and fresh fruit. A sort of ancestor of the sorbet also described d Pliny the Elder as "a drink composed of finely chopped ice and honey with ice and fruit juice, so as to obtain an icy cream".
The snow needed to obtain the ice was collected in the mountains by the "snowmen" packed inside the straw and transported with carts through the streets of Rome, and for this reason called "snow roads". When it arrived at its destination, it was then kept in special snowfields, cool environments, often buried and at low temperature.
A more folkloristic legend, instead, tells that a multiservice cobbler named Vincenzo incited his wife Francesca (called Checca) to serve ice to every customer of his kiosk. From his invitation: "Gratta Checca", would derive the name of the famous Roman skyscraper.
The best places to try the Grattachecca Romana
Even today, the grattachecca is rigorously prepared by hand in the historic cloisters of the Rioni Trastevere, Testaccio and Prati, in the lively area of Ponte Milvio and in the districts of Trieste and Trionfale.
With our tour Destination Eataly Hop-On Hop-Off you can get off at the Terminal Ostiense and with a short walk, taste a very fresh and tasty Roman skyscraper in these historic kiosks.
At the "Chiosco Testaccio", near Piazza Santa Maria Liberatrice, you can taste a scratch with lemon and coconut juice not to be missed, in the first place among the best Roman Scratchers.
→ Via Giovanni Branca,122
Among historical kiosks of the Capital, we can also mention:
Alla Fonte D’Oro
"Alla Fonte D'oro" a few steps from the Tiber Island, is a real jewel of authenticity and taste in the heart of Rome. Since 1913 this characteristic kiosk, offers a varied choice of flavors, constantly looking for combinations and syrups. To try: the LemonCocco.
→ Lungotevere Raffaello Sanzio, 41
La Sora Maria
La "Sora Maria" is one of the historic cloisters of Rome, opened in 1933 and located a short walk from Vatican City. The restaurant is now run by the great-grandchildren of Sora Maria. Here the grater varies from simple flavors like "The Delicate" composed of lemon and coconut, to more exotic flavors like maracuja and papaya.
→ Via Triumphal, 37
This kiosk is one of the oldest in the capital, opened since 1915 on the Tiber Island. Its success is due to the commitment and passion of "Sora Mirella" or Mirella Mancini, famous on the island for its scratching. Here you can enjoy a delicious scratch and enjoy the wonderful view of the Tiber.
→ Lungotevere degli Anguillara
A retro tram with a tradition handed down from generation to generation. In this kiosk it is possible to taste crumbs with the historical recipe of grandfather Aurelio or with alcoholic variations. But not only... also drinks, spirits and centrifuges.
→ Apartment For sale, 13