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Market Day is Saturday

In this neighborhood, Saturday is market day. A string of city blocks nearby is blocked off and filled to the brim with produce, fish, cheese, flowers, housewares, clothing… and people. It seems to be when everyone does their big marketing for the week, going home and filling their tiny fridges and cupboards with Italian veggies, fruits and cheese, mediterranean fish, and cheap sundries.

When I was first living here in 2009, it took me a few times to figure out “the system” for buying from the vendors, and then overcome my timidity with my then more-limited Italian. I know the protocol now for waiting in line off to the side, but I still get mixed up over exactly how many green beans come in a kilo… quite a few! Requesting my food in metric amounts is still a guessing game for me.

Then there’s the foxy game the vendors play to upsell a little each time. I ask for 2, they put 3 in my bag. I ask for a half kilo, I go home with somewhere between half and a whole kilo, even though they weigh each order.

And I have yet to find a produce vendor that handles the goods with a gentle touch. It matters with tomatoes, apricots, nespole, plums, figs and others! They use the open produce bag for target practice, flinging each tender fruit toward the bag’s gaping entrance. (Sometimes I’ll observe a vendor for a while and decide not to buy from one that throws the fruit around. It doesn’t leave me many options though.) By the time I walk home with my day’s purchases, I’ve got spoilage already.

All that said, the array not only offers edible delights but a visual one as well. I enjoyed shooting panoramas today to give a sense of the surroundings (those these don’t show the throng of people, nor the clothes and sundries.)

(Click on the photos to see them enlarged.)

Lovely fruits and vegetables.

All sorts of seafood, much of which I’d never seen until I came here.

Olives, canned tuna, pickled foods.

Produce galore.

Produce galore.

Breads and rolls.

Breads and rolls.

We need more olives.

We need more olives.

Yet more produce.

Olives, pickles foods, dried fruits.

Olives, pickles foods, dried fruits.

Nuts and olives.

Nuts and olives.

Salted cod, olives, dried foods and others.

Salted cod, olives, dried foods and others.

More produce, lots of greens.

Many different cheeses and meats.

A meat and cheese vendor.
A meat and cheese vendor.

Today I brought home erbette, rucola, lattuga, fagiolini, pomodori, olive, cipolle, cima di rapa. (leafy greens, arugula, bibb lettuce, green beans, tomatoes, olives, pickled onions, broccoli tops.)

  1. PatruMay 19,13

    Glad to see you are all nestled in and settled. Of course there would be a photo of your fresh-from-the-market veggies all displayed on your table. Looking forward to reading (and seeing) all about this year’s trip! Love you!

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