LIFE/Buongusto: Italian Style Fast Food

Street food seems to be on the rise in Italy, and the little shop of Buongusto pretty much has a monopoly on the scene in Viterbo.

Buongusto’s specialty is the piadina, thin Italian flatbread originating from the Romagna region, made with toppings of many choices, from more wholesome to savory. The shop is ideal for a quick lunch or sweet snack break while shopping or just perusing down Corso Italia, Viterbo’s main shopping street.

In addition to fast service, affordable prices and fresh ingredients, customers can expect a warm welcome from Matteo Carbone, 28, and Elisabetta Paonessa, 29, who moved from Rome to Viterbo nine months ago looking for a quiet, less chaotic way of living.

After working in restaurants for 15 years, 13 in Rome and two in the Caribbean Islands at an Italian restaurant, Carbone found himself wanting to bring something new to the table.

“Street food is a very good idea for us,” he said. “In Italy we don’t have a lot of places where we can find this kind of food.”

Paonessa graduated from the Università di Roma, worked in administration there, and then worked abroad before returning to Italy to start the business with Carbone.

When asked how the piadine are prepared, Carbone joked, “That’s my secret.”

But he decided to let us in on it. They make around 100 piadine per day, using two types of dough: classic, made of flour, milk, water and salt; and organic, made of water, extra virgin olive oil and salt.

The ingredients are mixed together for about 15 minutes, then the dough is stored in the fridge for one day to allow it to relax. Next the dough is flattened out by the machine and ready for toppings, and lastly it is folded or sealed and put on the stove.

In the case of the savory piadina, powdered sugar can be added, too.

For prospective customers, the most popular piadine to order are numbers 11, with cooked meat, grilled zucchini and smoked cheeses and 24 with turnip greens and sausage. The shop is typically busiest around 1 p.m.

The Details:

Address: Corso Italia # 107, Viterbo

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 11 a.m. -9 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. -10 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. -3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. -3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Price range: €2.80 to 4.50


Risa Johnson  studentessa USAC

Hi everyone, I am a journalism student from Chico, California. I study Italian and journalism at the Università degli Studi della Tuscia. In my free time, I enjoy eating Italian food, creative writing, being outdoors and traveling as much as possible.

Ciao tutti, sono una studentessa di giornalismo di Chico in California. Studio Italiano e giornalismo all’Università degli Studi della Tuscia. Nel mio tempo libero, mi piace mangiare il cibo Italiano, scrivere creative, stare all’aperto e viaggiare per quanto possibile.