Sunday, November 25, 2007

Food Shopping, Italian Style

Food stalls in Florence are a feast not only for the taste buds but for all the senses, exploding with color, aroma, and even sound as the hawkers cry their wares. We had a real dilemma before we went, trying to decide if we wanted to be in a hotel or instead in an apartment where we would have the opportunity to cook when the mood struck us. The hotel won out in the end, which was just fine, but still, it would have been fun to be able to actually sample all this bounty ourselves. Instead I settled for photographs, and we'll set our rejuvenated cooking muse free among the riotous melange of color that is the market right down the block. I suspect it won't come up wanting.

The Mercato Centrale (home of the infamous porcini mushrooms - yes, right there in that blue bag)

Italians even manage to make garlic and squash look stylish.
. .

Well, most of the time that is. This one from the Mercato Centrale looks more like an Israeli market (or rather the way an Israeli market would look if any of those types of squash were sold here. Ours tend to be these huge giant things that can't be lifted off the ground. You tell the seller how much you want by weight, and he hacks you off a piece with a giant scary looking knife. Either that or teeny tiny round zucchinis and such. Nothing that says "fall" quite as well as these.). I'll bet these Italian ones tasted damn good, too.

A weekly market in the Piazza Santo Spirito. Gives new meaning to the phrase "truck farm", doesn't it? If you look closely you'll see that this little guy has only three wheels. Sort of what you'd get if you bred a big semi and a tricycle...



Pieces of Me said...

I am surprised to see ghords at an Italian market, but those look splendid. I must say you picked a delectable time to travel to Fierenze. Right on. Love those photos. I'll be coming back for more obviously.

Harlekwin said...

When I was a very little girl my family lived in Naples. I loved going to the market with my mom. My sister and I would hold hands and I would usually hold onto my mom's skirt so she could have her hands free to shop.

The farmers and the merchants always made a fuss over the bambini. I recall hands extending to offer my sister and me huge, juicy grapes or sections of blood oranges. Mostly what I remember are the sounds, the colors and the busy-ness.

Wow, your pictures just took me back to a place I haven't seen in over 40 years. Thank you!

So, what have I missed about the Porcini mushroom? I guess I'll have to go exploring.

ciao bella~

Lilight said...

I'm so enjoying your Italy photos, Robin. You did a nice job taking them and captured some interesting perspectives.

Scribbit said...

Oh you are killing me! How I'd love to be there and doing all those fun things--this is nearly as tempting as your Dead Sea post that I dreamed about. :)

Robin said...

It's funny Michelle, it's all what you're used to. My parents were just here showing us their photos and trip journal from their trip to Alaska, and I was swooning over that! How I would love to go there someday.

Jenn said...

Mercato Centrale was one of my favorite things about Florence. I wanted to bring home a Parma ham, cheeses and fruits and veggies. I hope the next time we go, we will stay somewhere with a kitchen so I can enjoy cooking with these amazing foods.