November 17, 2007

Food Markets- Feast for your Eyes


I have always been drawn to food markets,
even before my professional foodie days.


Nice to know I am in good company!
Mimi sheratons article is a fabulous list
of where to see great markets.
For me they are always the place to catch a glimpse of the daily life
and to get tastes of real food of the culture.


I recall at the age of 20, being drawn to, and repulsed at the same time, to the market in Athens, the strong smells overwhelming my innocent American nose, heavily brined kalamata olives, strong sheeps cheese and raw meat.
Yet I was unable to resist going to the soup kitchen at the market late at night to join in elbow to elbow with locals at the counters digging in with relish to
hot bowls of soup, coming from the huge steaming pots.
The roasted sheeps heads and tripe were a little too much for my young American palate at the time, but try them I did.

The cinnamon rice pudding and the syrupy galaktobourika
I learned to make by sign language
in the basement of the "milk shop" in the Plaka near the market
are still imbedded in my food memory.

Little did I know back in 1973, that I would find myself in Florence 20 years later
still drawn to the markets and eating at the market stands,
now loving tripe sandwiches.

On a recent trip to Palermo, I am embarrased to say, we did not see any
museums, but I am proud to say I did see all three markets!
And I ate the street food set up in the piazza late at night
in the Vucceria. Incredible grilled meats.
If I had had more of an appetite, I would also have had some of the boiled octopus, a copper pot, a portable gas burner and a lovely serving dish.

I don't really think they have permits,
but was some of the best food I had in Palermo.


I will be going back to Sicily again soon to get more foto's and do research
for a foodie trip to Sicily for next October,
Palermo to Catania.
I will arrange to see some musuems this time.

Maialino- suckling pigs



  1. A post about one of my favourite things! I am shocked though - where are the Toronto food markets? LOL

  2. That second photo is gorgeous. I love markets also :)

  3. Thanks, that market has been my "home" for the past 20 years!

  4. Jerry, you know I am dying to come to it is also the San Lorenzo Market like here in Florence....

    Saint Lawrence.. send me a foto!

  5. You are so in the hip NYT's thick of things, Diva! Just think of all those people who haven't discovered the markets of Italy with a pro. Of course, these country markets in France are pretty awesome too- :)

  6. When we were in Europe last year going to the markets was so much fun, especially for my hubby because we are in the fruit and veggie biz here. Great pics, takes me back.