Italian food markets – vibey with stunning, mouthwatering produce!
At one stage I considered writing about the French and Italian food markets together, but they differ so, I simply had to separate them.
The Italian food markets are loud and vibey compared to the fairly subdued French neighbours!
But words cannot take you to the market the pictures do …..
so come along on a pictorial stroll through a market with me……
In France there may be the occasional music such as a lively accordion or a guitar, but in Italy, there is such a racket with everyone enthusiastically trying to draw your attention to their products, anyone trying to offer music will not be heard! Sadly I appear to have deleted a video that I took in the lovely French village Issigeac on a Sunday, when the entire village becomes a market. Here the piano accordion music delicately wafted through the narrow streets. And again I have deleted the video of Turin’s loud market, what a shame not to share it with you!
The produce looks different as it is expressed in the contrasting cuisine of the two countries. In France the delicate green leaves, perfectly juicy tomatoes, delicate white and green asparagus, artichokes, green beans and garlic reflect what you get on your plate.
Perfectly ripe fruit reflecting the season and the region!
In both countries the passion for seasonality and freshness reflect what is seasonal, ripe and ready to eat.
In Italy the food colours and flavours are bolder…… and this is reflected in the vibrant produce!
Just one example, where I don’t recall seeing a single red pepper or chilli in France, just a few kilometers away, the Italian markets had huge glossy red peppers piled high. In France the tomatoes are round and fleshy suitable for delicate sauces and salads, in Italy they are often oval, ideal for cooking into a bold pasta sauce. The range of onions was interesting.
The Italians don’t care much for the delicate flavour of white asparagus, but there is plenty of the green variety. Plump fresh fennel bulbs are ready for the pan!
In spring there are plenty of zucchini flowers, ready for filling with fresh ricotta!
In the Dordogne, the area where we shopped in France, there were mainly goat milk cheeses. In Piedmont in Italy there are huge dairy farms so mozzarella, ricotta and other cow milk cheeses are plentiful. It is also the area of delicious Parmesan cheese.
Cured meats especially ham salami in its various forms are popular in markets.
And then the bread…… no baguettes here! It’s the home of the grissini stick. Every restaurant and wine tasting venue presents grissini in its own way! The breads are bolder than the French counterparts.
We also visited a small Italian fish market. Just the mosaics decorating the walls were a work of art. The fish variety and freshness was mouthwatering!