Supplì is undoubtedly one of the favorite foods of the Romans, and perhaps represents the essence of the Roman more than all other foods. The Roman know how to eat well and precipitously, mostly by hands, especially street food variants.


And it is precisely from the streets of Rome that food torture arises. It is a simple and tasty recipe like rice with meat sauce, pecorino cheese, mozzarella, eggs, and breadcrumbs.

The name is Roman, extracted from the French slank dictionary of soldiers stationed in Rome. All of this happened in the early nineteenth century, when a lover of the recipe, called the fried and breaded rice dumpling surprise, referring to the filling. The Italianization of the French surprise became suppli.

Found locally in Rome and surrounding areas, suppli is consumed worldwide in the classic cylindrical shape, with a crunchy and delicious taste. From Tokyo to New York, the supplì is eaten as the Romans eat it: rigorously by hands and rigorously disordered.

The first news of the suppli’ dates back to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Romans citizens changed the name, transforming it into Italian and conjugating it to the female suppli’.

The first supplì, with the name of rice soplis, appeared on menus in the distant 1874, in the list of the Trattoria della Lepre in Via dei Condotti 9, frequented, among others, by Gogol and Melville. At the beginning of the 1900s, the name was still feminine, and in the 1929 cookbook, the Roman Kitchen, author Ada Boni, firstly mention suppli’ in the modern era.

In an interview with James Joyce about a 1904 visit to the capital city, he mentions the supplittari, sort of street food stands equipped with large cauldrons steaming with oil.

In addition to the mozzarella and tomato sauce, the original recipe included chicken trimmings and mushrooms. This filling was used until the 1950s replaced by the current and more delicate beef or pork ragout, pleasing modern tastes.

One of the common names is “suppli’ on the phone,” deriving from the fact that according to tradition, it gets divided into two sections. The stringy mozzarella creates a “thread” between the two parts of rice, making it look like a telephone. Accurate suppli has the cheese from one end to the other, not just in the center.

Despite its 200 years of life, this creation is always current. It never goes out of fashion. You can find them in any pizzerie, rotisserie, bar, or cafeteria. It is a popular food, found in elaborate versions as well. If you are traveling to Rome, stop at more traditional Magliana for a supplement (cost $1.00 each) or elaborate Ponte Milvio (cost about $ 3.00 each). The latter offers a bio, vegan, and macrobiotic options with several variations. And while there, you may run into a suppli festival, filled with hundreds of food carts, and possibly get a cooking and eating lesson from local grandmothers.

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