Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Italian Market Memories

Basket of Tomatoes at Rapallo Market
September was a great time to go to Italy because there was an abundance of produce.  Look at these beautiful plum tomatoes!

We'd cross through the markets whenever we could, on our way to see the sights, just to take in all of the color and freshness-- and energy.   

Mushrooms were just coming in.  We had some great pasta with mushrooms as a primi , but I also tried what turned out to be one of my favorite dishes -- a salad of fresh sliced porcini, celery and parmesan --- at a restaurant called La Bussola in Florence. 

Figs were also in season --and amazing.  Tom loved the salumi with fig antipasti at Osteria del Gatto in Siena.  And he doesn't even like figs.  

Jams made from local fruits were part of the daily breakfasts, served with either brioche, croissants, or hearty bread. 

We saw lots of colorful legumes like these.

And of course -- lots of grapes --- it was harvest time for making wine.

But what is also impressive is how everyone finds a place to grow their own tomatoes, even in the tiniest backyard lots, or on trellises like these, along the path we hiked in the Cinque Terre. 

Now, when I think of Italy, I think of tomatoes. 


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