Casa Mia: Why did you choose to open a gourmet food shop and natural wine enoteca and close the kiosk?
Tutto Ghiotto: Our experience in the San Giovanni di Dio market was essential for us. Both of us come from different careers. The kiosk gave us time for trial and error and to learn and grow. We knew when we opened in the market that we were taking a chance because our products aren’t the average ones found at food markets. They are more expensive than what most market shoppers are used to seeing and buying. In addition to this challenge, as the number of products we sourced increased, we ran out of display space. We displayed our pasta, mozzerella, farro, and other products on a table in front of the kiosk. We outgrew the market. It was time for a change. The new shop has a large deli counter, plenty of shelf space for wine and food products, a full kitchen, tables and we have plenty of storage space. Essentially the idea for the new shop came from the fact that the market no longer suited what Tutto Ghiotto had become.
CM: Tell me more about how you decided to open the kiosk?
TG: If Letizia hadn’t moved to Rome, Tutto Ghiotto wouldn’t exist. If we hadn’t met each other and if we hadn’t fallen in love with each other, we wouldn’t have started Tutto Ghiotto. This is our future. This was an opportunity for us to start a new life. Creating Tutto Ghiotto was something much more stimulating than our previous jobs. Letizia had managed a supermarket and Riccardo was a university professor. So one day we walked around the market and saw a kiosk for rent and thought why not try? With Letizia’s former work experience and Riccardo’s never ending research of niche food products and his love of wine, we decided to go for it. We started selling a small amount of products from Abruzzo, Le Marche and Lazio. Over time our selection and knowledge grew. It’s a privilege to have a chance at a second life that not everyone has, and we are forever thankful for this opportunity.
CM: Lucky for us that you met. Letizia is from Le Marche and Riccardo is from Abruzzo. Like us, they were fortunate to have families who cooked everything and did it well. Good food was always important to them and its reflected in their simple philosophy: feature food products that are exceptionally good and that are produced by people/places that they have visited personally. We love and share this philosophy with Letizia and Riccardo. Quality is everything for them.
CM: How do you choose products?
TG: When we first opened in 2016, we chose products based exclusively on our research and passion. The internet has been a great help. We research online, take recommendations, take notes and call producers. Most importantly, we travel to meet producers in person. We don’t want to have everything that’s out there. It doesn’t make sense for us. In the summer, Riccardo is always researching and evaluating new products. Recommendations from trusted friends and artisanal producers has also worked well for us and word of mouth. It’s a labor of love.
CM: We know that you’ll serve cold plates at the new shop. Do you have plans to serve other dishes?
TG: We will serve traditional plates from Le Marche and Abruzzo that aren’t easily found in Rome. Upon opening we will have a daily special, like penne arrabbiata or cotechino. We will also serve fritti (fried snacks) including olive ascolane, arancine and baccalà. The rest is what you see at the counter: platters of cheese and cured meats, parmigiana, crostini with baccalà mantecato, tiella, etc…That being said, we encourage visitors to call ahead of time if they want to organize a special dish like Trippa Teramana (a tripe recipe that hails from Abruzzo) served over grilled bread.
CM: Tell us about the wine selection. We LOVE natural wine and we see many of our favorites on the shelves like Gueli from Sicily, Ribela from Lazio and Donati Camillo from Emilia-Romagna. We’re in heaven.
TG: Nearly all of our wines are natural and/or organic. They can be ordered by the glass or by the bottle. We will serve wine ONLY, not Aperol spritz nor Campari. We chose our wines much in the same way that we chose our food selection. The wines are wines that we enjoy drinking from producers who we know personally. Currently, we have wine from Piemonte, Tuscany, the Carso area in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Abruzzo, Marche, Liguria, Sicily, Emilia-Romagna, and Campania.
CM: The first time someone visits Tutto Ghiotto, what are three products that they must try?
TG: Ciauscolo Marchigiano, Strachitunt D.O.P cheese, and olive fritte ascolane (breaded and fried green olives stuffed with ground meat and cheese).
CM: Both the ciauscolo and olives come from Le Marche, where Letizia grew up. Ciauscolo was strange for me when I first tasted it. I had never eaten a fresh, spreadable cured meat. Ciauscolo Marchiagiano IGP is unique. Made from pork meat from the shoulder and belly, it is spiced with pepper, garlic and white wine before being finely ground and mixed and stuffed into its casing. After a long drying period, the salumi is smoked over juniper branches for days and hung to cure. It’s often eaten after only two weeks of aging. The result is a soft, spreadable meat similar in texture to some pate.
We love your fried olive ascolane. These fried and breaded green olives stuffed with ground meat, spices and cheese hails from Ascoli Piceno in Le Marche region of Italy.
As for Strachitunt, blue cheese lovers won’t want to miss it. Made in Val Taleggio at 2000 meters, this soft sometimes blue-veined beauty is made with an old technique which combines curd from the previous day with fresh curd. In young wheels of Stratchitunt the smell and taste of mountain herbs is evident. Aged wheels have a more earthy scent like truffles. My mouth is watering.
Opening night was packed with loyal clients, fans and friends of Letizia and Riccardo, Francesco and I included. We started with spicy taralli followed by bite sized mozzarella di bufala before our plates of cheese and charcuterie arrived. We paired this with a bottle of verdicchio. I hope that you’ll visit Tutto Ghiotto and love it as much as we do. Be sure to introduce yourself to Letizia and Riccardo.
Circovallazione Gianicolense 149, Monteverde Nuovo
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm; and then 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm. In December, they will also be open on Sundays.