Saturday, April 12, 2008

Market day

Saturday, finally weekend, and I've got some time to do some shopping and at the same time explore some of the most interesting places in Florence - the market halls. It's very convenient, since the Mercato Centrale is just 50 yards away from the apartment in which I'm currently in. This is apparently the largest covered market in Europe, dating back to 1874, and it houses rows upon rows of butcher, fishmongers, bakeries, cheese shops, lunch counters, and other stands with Tuscan specialties. Upstairs is a huge section with fresh produce. Of course some of the stands are geared towards tourists with their fancy oils and wines, but most of the market is where Florentines come to shop. It all sort of reminds me of the markets in South America that I've seen (as do many other things in Italy). Since I'm a bit restricted in terms of cooking in the shared kitchen (my diet at the moment consists mostly of pasta and rice dishes), I wasn't able to get too much, though I got some produce to snack on, some cold cuts and cheese for sandwiches, and some fresh pasta, which was actually reasonably priced.
Afterwards, I headed off for another market, the Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio, on the other side of town. This one was smaller, with the produce stands outside the market building, but similar in character. Once I've got a real kitchen, I'll definitely have to try out all the great food. On the market square was La Via del Tè, a tea shop that I had found on the internet. It's a bit upscale, with corresponding prices, but they do have a large selection, and a few tables where you can enjoy the prepared goodness. It's good to know that I have a place to come back to should I need an emergency ration of tea.


Working Title said...

What is it with tea drinkers and their tea, anyway? Dried leaves... if you can't smoke them, cook and drink them instead? Gross!

Ben said...

Ah, working title... I see you've never encountered the pleasant maltiness of a good Assam, or the slight smokiness of a Yunnan, or even the freshness of a Lung Ching. Perhaps you've even stuck to tea-bags, those works of the devil, up until now? I think I need to take you tea-tasting next time you're in Europe.

Working Title said...

You're quite right, I guess, because I don't even know what you're talking about. But I made a first step in the right direction today: I bought two tea shirts. Muahahaha!

And the award for the worst pun in a blogger's comment goes to... *rataplan* Working Title!