Zabiaone at Er Trasteverino

30 Jul


It’s Christmas in July, folks! That’s right! I’m writing a post about eggnog in the blistering, sweltering, dripping heat of Rome in July. Why in the world would I do a thing like that? Because I can, my friends, because I can…

So here’s the deal. There’s a bar not too far from my house called Er Trasteverino, and their much-touted speciality is the Zabaione (pronounced Za-bah-YO-nay). Check out this explanation from the website Caffe 1920:

It is the case of the “zabaglione” cream, invented by a Franciscan friar, Pasquale de Bayon, later to become, after his sanctification, Saint Bayon. The recipe of this rich, egg based cream used to be whispered by the understanding friar to the ladies, who, during confession, where complaining about the “not so exceptional” performances of their husbands!

So you can now see where the zabaione name comes from: San Bayon, and maybe you have even a little more information than you bargained for. Personally I don’t really care for the stuff, but Alessandro can’t get enough. [And no, rest assured that this did not involve me consulting friars for any sort of advice.] So much so that just recently when we went there and he asked for it, he was told that it’s too hot to make it now because it doesn’t keep. It’s made with raw eggs, and that kind of concoction just doesn’t hold up so well when it’s like 100° in the shade, you know?

However, since we’re having a “very special” Christmas in July episode here at AHIR, you can just mark this one down for future reference.

As you can see in the photo at the beginning of this post, the zabiaone comes served in a chilled martini glass with a crispy wafer and snazzy imprinted chocolate floating on top. Very classy, folks.


It’s a mixture of eggs, sugar, cream—well, the recipe is of course top secret, so I can’t reveal the exact ingredients. Not that I actually know them. But I know that would be the answer if I asked. “Special recipe… it’s a trade secret.” I suppose you’ll just have to taste it for yourself.

But if, like me, you’re not really into zabaione, this bar has a good selection of gelato as well (or, as noted on the menu above: “ice cream on choise.”) And if you’re not in the mood for something sweet, you could do their formaggio and salame (cheese and salami) plate with a glass of chilled white wine. Not a bad deal, I think it’s around €5.

Sit at a table along the cobblestone street and soak up the local Trastevere atmosphere. It’s on Via S. Francesco a Ripa, right across the street from the church dedicated to none other than the good ol’ S. Bayon (or Baylon) himself.

So now, confess: who out there in the blogosphere is fond of the zabaione or its incarnation in gelato form? Do any of you make this Italian eggnog at home? Any tricks or special recipes to share?

Er Trasteverino, Via S. Francesco a Ripa 151
Chiesa Annessa Santi Quaranta e San Pasquale Baylon, Via S. Francesco a Ripa 20


8 Responses to “Zabiaone at Er Trasteverino”

  1. Giulia July 30, 2007 at 5:46 pm #

    “The recipe of this rich, egg based cream used to be whispered by the understanding friar to the ladies, who, during confession, where complaining about the “not so exceptional” performances of their husbands!

    Ah-Ha-Ha-pffft-pffft-snort-snort-a HAH!
    Wait, what exactly were you talking about again?!
    *goes back to re-read* lol

  2. Avery July 30, 2007 at 7:24 pm #

    I like zabaglione but only in small doses. It’s really good but really rich and if it’s too eggy I can’t do it. But if it’s done right, like the one in your post looks, mmmmm, it is deeeeelish!

  3. rachael July 31, 2007 at 12:27 am #

    I’m not a fan of eggnog in any form or name. Hubby is. His favourite so far was Rompope in Mexico (of course we haven’t been to Italy, yet, so I can’t compare them.)

    Rompope was created at the Convent of Santa Clara in Puebla in the 17th century. It consists of milk, sugar, almonds, canela (cinnamon), eggs, brandy or rum.

  4. Farfallina -Roam 2 Rome July 31, 2007 at 8:16 am #

    Well, I am a fan of eggnog… but Rompope has a bit too much Rum for my taste, the liquor feel lingers in your breath!!!

    Ahm, I’m with Giulia on this one 🙂

  5. nyc/caribbean ragazza July 31, 2007 at 4:22 pm #

    Who knew eggnog had such “powers”? haha

  6. Valerie July 31, 2007 at 9:07 pm #

    I’ve like the zabaglione for some time but never knew all this about the stuff. Cool.

    I nominated you for a Schmooze Award! You are already a winner, though. 😉

  7. jessica August 1, 2007 at 5:01 am #

    when i was a little girl in hungary, my tonsils were removed and i was given this as a treat. i think they were trying to give it to me because of the egg…i was not eating anything for a while and this would sustain me.

  8. Lisa August 1, 2007 at 3:36 pm #

    aaah! Not only does that sound delicious!! But its near my favorite part of Rome! When I went to Rome I stayed at Hotel San Francesco..I’m sure you know where it is because its right near ther! Ah I Can’t wait to go back and try that at Il trasteverino!!!!!! 🙂 thank yoU!

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