Mordi e Vai, a street food stall in Testaccio market, serves hearty sandwiches filled with pasta sauces and traditional Roman recipes
Sergio Esposito of Mordi e Vai

Mordi e Vai has become one of the most famous street food stalls in Testaccio market. The stand, run by Sergio Esposito, serves hearty sandwiches filled with pasta sauces and traditional Roman stews. Mordi e Vai literally means ‘bite and run’ and the street food stall has won numerous awards, featuring in many Rome guides.

Street food in Testaccio market

Street food, these days, is a serious business. If the word ‘street’ wasn’t enough to convince you that this eating style was on trend, the concept of preserving some of Italy’s finest traditions while encouraging cutting edge creativity might. Celebrating the best producers of street food, then, is another way of ensuring that the old ways continue to be supported and distilled into modern eating habits, which sometimes demand fast food on the go.

There’s actually nothing very ‘fast’ about the production of some of Italy’s finest street food creations, many of which involve making laborious stews and sauces, with inevitably long cooking times to tenderise the offal and off-cuts that they often comprise – but that’s another story.

Mordi e Vai at Testaccio market

Offering trippa alla romana (tripe stew), l’allesso di carne (boiled meat) and salsiccia (sausage meat) in sandwich format on a regular basis, the rotating menu of the ‘panino del giorno’ (sandwich of the day) comprises fillings such as picchiapò (traditional Roman boiled beef, stewed with tomatoes and onions), lingua (tongue), amatriciana (guanciale and tomato sauce) and polpette fritte e ciocorietta ripassata (fried meatballs with refried wild common chicory). Most of these recipes go back generations, but, thanks to Sergio, are now available in to-go formats. Preparation time: about 100 years. Eating time: four minutes (if you’re slow…)

Mordi e Vai | Testaccio market | Via Alessandro Volta – lato via B. Franklin, 12E | Box No. 15

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