Gricia, carbonara and amatriciana: that’s the difference

When you visit Roma stopping in a restaurant that offers typical cuisine is almost a must and get to know the difference between gray, carbonara e tomato and bacon it may prove useful. The three recipes have points in common, but history, flavors and ingredients help us not to get confused. Taste remains, however, the prince of comparison.


To understand the difference between gricia, carbonara and amatriciana you have to start from theirs origin common. The three dishes derive, in fact, from the traditional cacio e pepe, poor recipe. Among the preparations, the most similar to the original remains, however, the gricia. In this the main ingredient, together with the inevitable jowlsis, in fact, the pecorino romano DOP, which must be used generously for mixing. This cheese has a taste strong and, combined with pepper, gives an unmistakable taste. The origins of Name they are controversial. It could derive from the locality Gresciano, near Amatrice. Other versions want it, however, connected to the term Gricewhich meant bread and other food retailers, referring to the duster gray they wore so as not to get dirty with flour. The gricia is usually prepared with spaghetti o rigatoni.


Carbonara occupies a prominent place among the main first courses of the Roman tradition. On his Name several stories circulate. It seems, in fact, that it was the dish that gave energy to charcoal burnersi lumberjacks who in the 19th century obtained coal from wood in the Apennines. The first evidence of the recipe dates back, however, to second World War. Some thus link the invention to the rations given by the Americans to the soldiers. The peculiar characteristic of carbonara lies, however, in the use of egg. Whether it’s the whole food or just the yolks, what matters is that they are added a crudo, on freshly drained and still hot pasta. The jowls it should never be replaced with bacon. Pecorino and pepper complete the whole and the spaghetti they are inevitable.

Tomato and bacon

The difference between gricia, carbonara and amatriciana is evident if one looks at the characteristics of the latter. It owes its name to Amateur, unequivocal place of origin of this tasty recipe. The jowls remains a key ingredient, but the sauce is added to it pomodoro. It is important that this is added directly to the fried of guanciale, and not cooked separately, so that it can be eaten flavor perfectly. THE peeled are, then, the preferable choice. To complete the dish we find the pecorino of Amatrice, more delicate and less spicy than the Roman PDO, and, again, pepper. THE bucatini seem to represent the pasta shape par excellence, but the spaghetti remain allowed.

Although there are similarities between gricia, carbonara and amatriciana, the difference between the dishes remains evident. They have become, over time, a symbol nationalas well as Roman. The variations of which they were protagonists are now countless and many of them depopulate far beyond the border. To the palate of each remains the final judgment on the preference.

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