March 15, 2009

I heart Markets-

Finally over jetlag, we hit the Saturday market at nearby Castelfiorentino. We picked up our parmesan from the same guy, who always gives us huge shards to taste as we wait. The price is incredible, only 14 euro per kilo for three year old cheese.

We also could not resist buying a whole guanciale from the stand from Sardegna. For us the market is a chance to buy "foreign foods" such as products from Sardegna, Naples and Sicily.
Smart vendors bring up specialties to sell mostly to the workers who have left their homes, travelling up north for work.

One may leave their homes, but not their traditions or their food palate!

The market in Certaldo on Sunday had a little of everything from arts and crafts to antiques and food stalls. I scored some new wooden spoons and an incredible book on cooking with wild greens and how to identify and find them.
Now you will find me with my little plastic bag on the roadsides along with the other Tuscan ladies!

Sunday there was a special market in Certaldo where we found other specialties. This darling guy was hand-slicing prosciutto from Norcia, another delight that one must usually travel for.

Next up was the table from Puglia, with it's huge loaves of bread and vegetables preserved in oil.

Puglia is considered the breadbasket of Italy.

The hard wheat flower grown there makes a fabulous bread and the rich soil gives the vegetables a special flavor. The pugliese are experts in preserving these flavors.

I am so glad to be home!

Have a huge pot of ragu on the stove.
Just made some grilled pumpkin for Andrea.
Tomorrow am going down to Florence for the last day of the TASTE show.

The book is at the printers and the printing starts Tuesday!

All is well.


  1. wish I was there! I love markets and oh how I long to visit new, foreign (to me) ones....

  2. It is great to see you back up and posting again. I'm looking forward to the book!

  3. What a wonderful market! Thanks for sharing. Until this economy perks up, blogs like yours are the closest to Italy I will get--that and the local Italian deli.

  4. I have spent so many happy holidays in Cortona and the surropunding area. Reading you blog brings it all back!!

  5. Glad to see you are back, and what gorgeous bread. Can't wait for impending return to Tuscany soon, and your blog is gearing me up....

  6. Good that you are back, and just as glad for your recepies at Food Connect – when a specific title catch my eye it is surprisingly often one of yours! Really looking forward to your book.

  7. How exciting re: book! Looking forward to reading it!