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.


  1. I'm jealous! The farmers markets in Colorado Springs start in June. Just one of the reasons that it's good to be a flatlander!

    Well, buon apetito Kansans!

  2. The farmers market was chilly, but still fun. There were many items there for sale already - Such a fun season...and so much more to look forward to!

  3. What are you planning on doing in the winter time? I'd love to bounce some ideas around. We do plan on canning, of course, but I've heard rumors that there are still a few things that will grow in the winter. I have some fresh herbs planted in pots I plan to keep alive through the winter, hopefully... What are your thoughts?