Friday, May 7, 2010
Fresh Markets - Italian Style
My husband and I spent two weeks in Italy last May. Because we are both “foodies” (he is a chef, I am a dietitian) our favorite times were spent in the morning markets. We loved admiring the rows of fresh produce, fish, flowers and pastries. I recall saying, “Chris, I would love to live here and have a market like this to buy food from.” Granted, at the time, local eating was the farthest thing from my mind. Instead, I loved the quaintness of the Italian markets, the vivid colors of fruits and veggies, and the euphoric feeling of being on vacation.
Since that time I have become passionate about eating locally, and am delighted that we DO have markets, much like in Italy. Only better because the farmer here understands our order the first time. When we go to market here, we don’t have to bring out the English/Italian dictionary to figure out what the angry words and looks from the vendors mean. My wonderful husband wanted to touch all the beautiful produce – but in Italy you either wear plastic gloves or the shopkeeper fills your order with sterile hands. If not, they get angry – unfortunately not our only flub in Italy.
So, tomorrow morning head out bright and early to one of the local markets already open on Saturday. You can even imagine you’re in Italy if you like! Buon giorno, my friends. The two markets that are open include:
Old Town Farmers Market: Mosley & 1st Street, 7 a.m. to noon. This week's Chef's Table at 9 a.m. will be presented by Executive Chef David Wirebaugh from the Hyatt. Their Harvest Kitchen/Bar uses local ingredients - a place I plan to try soon.
Kansas Grown Farmers’ Market: Sedgwick County Extension Center, 21st & Ridge Rd, 7 a.m. to noon
And as the season advances there are markets during the week. You can shop fresh a few times a week if you like, much like an Italian.