Monday, February 1, 2010

The Market

Seriously guys, the market is awesome. Everything the Italians do with their food is done right. I swear I don't know how I'm ever going to go home and eat food again; I can totally see myself having severe depression when I leave this food. Today I had my first experience in Italian mercato. I set my alarm on my phone (which is the most annoying alarm ever. "Its time to get up. The time is 9 a.m. Its time to get up.") and got up early to make sure I had time to get to the market and shop all morning. I'd been telling my roommates for days that I wanted to get to the mercato because the amount of eating out I'd been doing was getting a little bit excessive. I was more than happy that I got there.

The market is a total fiasco, but its a fiasco in a good way. You walk in and there are individual shops set up EVERYWHERE. It isn't like a mall where you walk into the stores individually, its more like there are places with different kinds of foods out all over the place. There is no order to it, either, which is fun. Instead of having all the cheese guys in one spot and the meat guys in another spot, its a free for all. Its cool because you can turn a corner and see a gigantic pig head and turn another and sample some fresh cheese. I had so much fun just walking around I forgot to buy things for the first half hour.

I guess I looked helpless because little Italian man came up to me and started to talk to me. He didn't understand a lick of English and I was grateful for this because he would tell me the names of things in Italian. Like sugar, which is zucchero in Italian. Here I am walking around with this cute little old guy thinking "This is marvelous!! I love this guy!" and he was probably helping me buy things from shop keepers who were his friends and were ripping me off. Oh well, I had fun with him anyway. He brought me first to place where I could buy pasta. I got a bunch and we moved on. Then we went and bought some rice. Its cool when you buy these things because they are all in big potato sacks and you can scoop them out and put them in bags yourself. My friend, whose name was Giacomo, helped me pick out the good ones. We went and bought some l'ananas (bananas), fragole (strawberries), tomatoes (pomodori), brocolli (brocolli), and onions (cipolle). He brought me to a place with oil and helped me pick some and then brought me to a sort of mini convenience store where I bought milk (latte), nutella, espresso, Loaker wafers (which are the most addicting things in the world), Ringos (also very addicting), and some Frosted Flakes. I was overjoyed when I saw that this little place had sliced bread and Giacomo and the shopkeeper laughed at me for being so excited. Giacomo brought me then to the bread place, baked on the spot, and got me some samples. "Mangiare questo!" he kept telling me, and said "Meglio!" over and over. Meglio means "better" in Italian; he kept trying to convince me these breads were all better than the sliced bread I had bought. Italians just don't understand sliced bread, I guess. After this we went to the place with the formaggio (cheese) where I was given about 35 different samples, all mostly parmesan. I got a huge hunk of it and some fresh mozzarella and moved on. We went to the wine shop next where I was able to finally find some salt and pepper. I asked Giacomo which limoncello to buy and wound up buying a very large bottle for very very cheap. He was extremely excited that I bought it and insisted that I was making a good decision.

Before I left Giacomo and I went and bought pastries at the little pastry shop near that exit and I discovered exactly how much I love nutella. This little thing was DRIPPING with it. It was warm and sugary and moist and gooey and delicious. By the time I made it back to my apartment, arms laden with buste (bags), I was stuffed. I realized I'd bought all this food and didn't even need to eat that day because I was so full. In summation, Italian mercati, as with all thins food-related in Italy, are fucking excellent.

Arrivederci, for now.
Love, Gabby

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