Let's face it. Why do I grow veggies?
To eat it, of course. So here is an edited version of my historical / culinary experience in Rome. Italians just love their fresh fruit and veggies. Not only that, but their fresh bread, meat, salami, fish and cheese too. In 5 days I didn't see a single large supermarket, instead there were daily fresh markets all over town. These tomatoes
were sitting in the Campo di Fiori market yesterday morning!!
Emperor Claudius is here just to get you in the mood of ancient Rome!
Orchards of olive trees were laden with olives
. Matron managed to purchase a couple of litres of locally produced, freshly squeezed, extra virgin olive oil from Tivoli!
These globe artichokes
were everywhere! I adore artichokes. Did you know that they are supposed to have cholesterol reducing, blood pressure lowering properties?
And who could resist home cured, fresh Parma ham
sliced off the joint right in front of your eyes? I couldn't!
Apparently fresh olives
are much too bitter to eat straight from the tree so they have to be salted in brine for about 3 weeks before they are edible. Matron has purchased a couple of pounds of fresh, large black olives and will be putting this to the test!
The sights and sounds of a vibrant local market are out of this world! This market was only 5 minutes walk from my hotel. Each morning before breakfast I would purchase provisions for my daily picnic and evening meal..... beefsteak tomato, buffalo mozzarella, ciabatta bread, fresh oranges... to sit in the Roman forum at mid day and break open such a feast!!
Courgettes are sold with their flowers still attached. One of the local delilcacies is deep fried courgette flowers
. The male flowers are sold fresh in bunches to eat! I must
try this next year with my curcurbit flowers!
This time of year the fresh porcini mushrooms
(known in France as cepes) are in season. Freshly picked each day and brought to market. This is the king of all edible mushrooms in my opinion. If not sold fresh, they are sliced and dried and sold as dried mushrooms. The scent is incredible. Eat them fresh on a pizza? Make mushroom rizotto? Chop them and grill them with garlic on some ciabatta?.. Matron was in heaven for sure!