Food Halls, Farmers Markets & Grocery Retailers seem to be popping up all over the world mimicking what traditional markets have been doing for thousands of years.
Prior to large scale grocery stores, a market was just that-a gathering of stands, of consumable products for sale, and for eating. For locals to purchase the ingredients they need to cook, eat and survive. Perhaps with some street food to satisfy that hunger, or for one supplier to prove their product is the best.
Today’s markets have changed from the tradition, and expanded to become more of a photographer’s pit stop & food lovers’ mecca.
While dining out is a blast (we surely did for our Bisteca Florentine Lunch), shopping for local ingredients, and cooking while traveling, is a blast.
We rented an Apartment that I found via VBRO that ironically, friends had stayed there in the past. Ok we maybe honeymoon crashed eachother’s honeymoons at. We really wanted to find an apartment in Florence to enjoy the market and cook at home. Since great minds think alike, we stumbled upon the place they had rented, and naturally stayed there again, years later.
We weren’t sure what we’d cook so started by making a round through the market, which was quickly where we got hungry and stopped for lunch. After lunch, we walked circles upon circles and went to both markets in town to ensure we had the best ingredients. Ok, and well, we just wanted to.
The produce would be ecstasy to a vegetarian. Heck, it about was for me. All I wanted to do was take photos and buy everything.
TIP: Don’t be a jerk. If you want to take a photo of a retailer, buy something! Produce is cheap there anyways, you will be surprised of the prices, and it’s the appropriate thing to do (including to ASK). Don’t need the produce, give it away.
With all the wonderful produce and things, we really didn’t know what to get, so well, bought what looked the best, which we hadn’t as good at home.
Zucchini Flowers and Heirloom tomatoes topped that. We thought about meat or seafood but we had already purchased tomatoes, pasta, mozzarella, zucchini flowers and some prosciutto (which btw the prosciutto lady clearly thought we must look hungry or something), so had a good base.
Being so used to an American kitchen, it also almost seemed as if there was no way we would have the space and tools we needed. More than anything, we must just have too much at home, and lower quality ingredients and 3xs the cost. No wonder why it’s so much cheaper to eat out there.
Anyways- we were ready for our dinner.
We made an antipasto plate
Pasta with red sauce of fresh tomatoes, with enough garlic to keep vampires away, red wine, & chopped zucchini flowers on top.
I have to admit, using the zucchini flowers on top sounds a bit odd. It was when we did it, but we REALLY wanted to use the zucchini flowers and adding a 3rd dish was too much, after the lunch and wine we have had.
We had such fun, couples day doing this, and got to (for the most part) hide from too many tourists in the meantime.
We only hope that we can inspire others to do the same on their travels, ❤