Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shopping at the fruttivendolo

Big haul from the fruttivendolo

One of the sublime and romanticized experiences that you read about in italian travel is the fresh produce markets held outdoors in large public squares. The colors, textures, sights, sounds and constant chatter makes for a totally immersive scene that is truly impressive for the first-time visitor. We don't usually go to these because it's much easier to stop into a fruit and vegetable shop - fruttivendolo - and walk away with a full crate of great things. Locally-grown community markets are not popular events because for the most part, home growers cultivate exclusively for their personal consumption. Imagine if we could create gardens to sustain the immediate area - that would be one humble victory for locavores and zero food miles/chilometers.

7 comments:

  1. I could just eat that whole box up...confession: I stayed in a room overlooking one of those produce market/public squares on my 1st ever visit to Italy. It really *was* kinda romantic :)

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  2. THAT would be awesome if you and those in your area could do that!

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  3. I LOVED the outdoor markets when I visited Italy. You never knew just what you would run into there. Lots of color, and all that fresh produce.

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  4. Wow that is a delicious box of produce you got there Rowena. :)

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  5. Jude - the ideal would be a month long vacation in a cute little apartment, then all this market business completes the whole picture. That and a dark handsome stranger at an outdoor cafe!

    Kat - I wish! The first hurdle though would be getting people to agree to tomatoes other than the ones usually grown by local gardeners - san marzano and cuor di bue. Gourmet, heirloom tomatoes hasn't caught on big over here...yet!

    Gail - don't forget the porchetta stand, cheese vendors and bread stall too. So many great things to be had that's for sure.

    Racquel - I was especially keen on getting that box because I'll need something in which to start my mushroom growing experiments. Looking forward to that a lot!

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  6. just came back from Germany....saw many home gardeners selling their excess crops / flowers at a temporary stand outside their house by the road .... its mostly self-service, you take your pick and put the monies in a tin or box. Does that happen in Italy also ?

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  7. Hort Log - I've never seen it in Italy although farmers do put out signs advertising what they sell. In Hawaii fruit/veg stands are common enough especially in the smaller towns. They have the tin box to insert money and sometimes even grocery sacks that you can reuse for your purchase!

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