Saturday, October 20, 2012

Don't squeeze the produce!

One of my new favorite things has become shopping the markets in Italy. Each town has its own market on set days. Though I loved the farmers markets in north America, what's awesome about the Italian markets is that they're steeped in tradition and they're generally cheaper than the grocery store.

Italian markets are foodie paradise. Artisan honey, local wines, cheeses, meats and awesome shoes (the markets sell everything from bath mats to whisks to beautiful Italian shoes in addition to food)

What took me a while to figure out though is that you can't touch the produce. You have to wait for the guy (it always seems to be a guy) and you tell him what and how much of what you want and he gets it for you. But you can't touch the produce. I've gotten yelled at for picking up an touching fruit to see if it was ripe.

The lady carefully guarding her desired bundle of Porcinis.
Today, seemed to be the start of porcini seasons. All the locals were out at the start of the market and lining up for the porcinis. This one old lady had her heart set on a certain bundle of porcinis. She was running out of patience because "the guy" was serving us and she was accusing him of spending too much time with the young bellas (us supposedly) When we went to select some porcinis, she protectively guarded her beloved bunch. Since "the guy" wasn't moving fast enough for her, she went to grab them and ask for a bag. He caught her and said "only I touch the mushrooms" so back she went to guarding them until we were done!

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