Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 5 - Market tour and cooking class

We got up early again today and walked down to the city center to meet Carmelita at the market,  There, we walked around as she talked about the various shop, their products and how things have changed over the last 20 years or so.

One of the big differences between here and what we see at home that she pointed out is that 1.  the plumpest, most colourful fruit isn't the best - she assured us that the smaller fruit duller is much more flavourful, and 2.  you do not touch to produce in Italian markets.  She told us that twice, and then smacked one of the American ladies who couldn't seem to keep her hands to herself.

Salad tomato - smooth, round tomatoes apparently have no business being in salads, as their texture is more appropriate for sauce.

 Artichokes, and sauce tomatoes below

 OK, these aren't local - I just thought they looked cool.

A sign of really fresh  produce is when the leaves are on display.  The leaves age before the fruit, so if they look good, that's a good sign.    The strawberries to the right?  Not local, or in season.

 We see dogs all over the place, including in the grocery store and at the butcher shop.

Carmelita's knowledge was impressive, and I'd have been happy to spend more time with her at the market.  However, once we'd picked up our ingredients for the meal we were to cook, we headed off to her apartment.

There, we cooked zucchini mouse with squash blossoms, pasta (from scratch) with mushrooms and a ricotta cake.  The highlight for me was learning to make pasta from scratch, but the ricotta cake is definitely one I'l make again.

Afterwards, we headed back on the long walk to our hotel. It was 5:00 by then, but neither of us was hungry, so we had a little rest for a bit.  A few hours later, we decided to head down the block a ways to a gelato store we'd seen earlier... more for something to do than because we were hungry.  However, on the way there, we saw somebody coming out of a pizzaria with about 4 pizzas, and both of us started to get a jones for pizza.  When we came to their front window and saw that you could get a slice for 1E50, we decided to stop there.  They had all sorts of pizzas to choose from - including one with red onions and french fries on top - but we kept it simple and both got a slice of salami pizza.  Then, we didn't need it, but we headed on down the street for the gelato.  Pistachio and chocolate were the flavours of the day, and were worth every calorie involved.  It was as good as (better than) home made ice cream.

Tomorrow we leave Bologna.  I won't be too disappointed to go.  We went there specifically to take the tours we'd signed up for, and while I won't say I dislike the city, I didn't find it all that appealing.  Florence is next on the list...The  #1 item on Ginny's bucket list is to see David, so this will be an important stop.

1 comment:

  1. Those mini pumpkin looking tomatoes are photographic food art! Again the pasta from scratch and what looks like a cream sauce and mushrooms.. :)Ricotta cake?! Yum.