February 29, 2008

Market day- Colle Val D'Elsa- Friday

Colle Val D'Elsa, with old Colle on top of the Hill.

Going to Colle Val d'Elsa on Friday, market day, is one of my husband favorite things to do.
It is really one of the largets and most social of the weekly markets.

I found my mozzarella girl from Certaldo, now working at the Sicilian stand,
but still with her incredibly fresh mozzarella and Naples style bread.

Speaking with my friend Angela, a very creative jeweler in Colle,
she explained the history of all the "older guys"
hanging out in front of the Bar Centrale.

If you are looking at the bar, turn around and you will see Angela's incredible shop. Her rings are art pieces! This is me looking at the bar from Angela's.

What may appear to be a lot of guys with nothing to do,
this is the office and public meeting place
for the local farmers.
It is where all the deal go down!

They raise cows, pigs, horses and are
buying, selling and making deals;
all with a handshake.

This market stretches out from one end of the lower city to the other
and while the piazza is being redone, with fabulous black and white bricks
( we are in Siena province)

Also the upper parking lot is filled with vendors.

We usually just do the fresh fruit and vegetables and plants.

tiny onions plants, Vernina, the red onion from Certaldo, very sweet.
Vernina will be the winter harvested onion, Statina, the summer onion.
Inverno is winter, Estate is summer.

The market is the university of life!

But this market has it all!
Curtains, clothing , candy and live chickens.

Huge vans with roast meats, and fried foods.
Fresh fish, dried fish and food from Sicily.

Seeds and fresh plants for farmers and gardners alike

Colle Val d'Elsa is famous for it's crystal.
There is a interesting museum in town and shops everywhere.

Today's market lunch was inspired by the warm weather,
and these!
dislayed like long stemmed roses, the stems are an extension of the heart
and these violet artichokes are very tender.

stewed fresh artichokes, with garlic and olive oil, of course.

Tuscan tiny oval meatballs, called Croquette, made with lean ground meat,
left-over boiled fingerling potatoes, mashed
Parmesan cheese, salt, garlic, lemon zest and eggs.

Form small meatballs, roll in breadcrumbs and fry.
Sprinkle with salt , a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.



  1. Hi Diva,

    It all looks so inviting, it makes me wish I were there!

    I bought some onion seeds at the garden shop the other day called, Rossa Lunga di Firenze. They don't have much of a bulb and purplish. The packet says that they are for a dish called pinzimonio. I've never tried to grow onions before, but I couldn't resist a variety named for Florence!

    I think, though, that it may already be too late to plant them as it has been near 70 degrees here in California.

    Love your blog!

  2. aahh! i know of this croquette! i ate it when i was in florence! your blog brings me back there on a regular basis. thank you. :)

  3. I love the markets and the food photos! Someday I am sure we will meet. I teach a little closer to Cortona, and in case you know of anyone who is interested, I still have 2 spaces for a week starting April 26th. all best, Faye

  4. Hi there my name is Jeena and I have started a food recipe forum that I thought you would like to join here Click here for food recipe forum

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  5. Love the look of those artichokes! I'll be making the same thing for lunch today.

  6. I usually just "lurk" at your blog but this morning I had a few minutes to revisit some of your posts. Wow how this one took me back to my visit to Italy in '06. We are dreaming of when we will come back.

    I hope to be able to do one of your tours whenever we get to come to Italy again.

    Until then I will dream through your blog.