Do you want to hear the saddest thing ever? Up until a couple weeks ago, my flatmate wouldn’t eat cheese. In fact, he hadn’t tried it since he was a kid. Just went off the idea of it all. ‘It’s squidgy’, he told me on a number of occasions.
I know. Let me give you a moment to pull your jaw from off the floor.
When he moved in about a year ago, I remarked that we’d have him eating it in no time. Well, it took longer than I thought it would, but we’re nearly there. The first step was cheese on toast – a mild cheddar. As one could imagine, it was slightly dry – not the first thing I’d eat.
The second step was pizza, so Neil (my other cheese-loving flatmate) and I took Charlie to Rossopomodoro in Notting Hill.
We started out with the Bruschetta (£3.50):
Fairly standard, but nice and fresh. And no parmesan! I think he liked this one.
What didn’t work for him, but I found a cheesy delight, was the A Tiella Platter (£6.00):
This was an assortment of Traditional Neapolitan fritters – some with cheese, some with potato, all fried to a delicious crispy golden brown.
For the main event, I went with the Pizza Fru Fru (£10.50):
Divided into three sections, this pizza was a bit schizophrenic. Provola and tomato sauce on the left; Ricotta and salami in the middle ;and friarielli (wild turnip tops) and provola on the right. While I really enjoyed the first two, I wasn’t too keen on the turnip tops. Slightly too bitter and overpowering for the milder provola. What was delicious though, was the crust. Perfectly structured, but not too crisp – this was really nice bread.
Charlie, a bit anxious at this point, had a margherita pizza, which he did actually finish. I think he wanted to say that he didn’t like it, but the fact that he ate the whole thing tells me otherwise.
With all of that, and a bottle of wine down, we took a look at the dessert menu. Man, oh man, the choices. Curiously though, 90% of them featured Nutella as a key ingredient. Not that I’m complaining.
We had the Calde Calde (£5.00):
Sweet warm doughnuts iced with vanilla sugar and topped with Nutella – these were the best, by far.
I went with the Tiramisu (£5.00):
The actual Tiramisu was good – not fantastic, but good. The Nutella was good too (of course), but I’m not sure about the two together. It was a bit heavy.
Neil went with the Nutellotto (£5.00):
Buffalo milk ice cream topped with (you guessed it) Nutella. I really enjoyed this. It was just a nice subtle flavour. I wouldn’t mind getting it on its own for a nice light treat.
And to top it all off, because we were fat asses that spent over £20 a head, we were given three placemats featuring Italian vegetables. Here’s Charlie modelling one:
Fetching, isn’t it?
I should add here that the service was stellar. Warm, friendly – very Italian. In fact, I think we may have been the only native English speakers in there, which is is generally a good sign.
So that’s it. Charlie’s first real brush with cheese was a success. So much so, that we got Firezza two days later, takeaway from our local pizza place the next weekend and this past Sunday we had Mulberry Street delivered. I wouldn’t go so far to say that Charlie ‘likes’ cheese yet, but he certainly likes pizza.