Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Trip to Florence

 Regular readers will know about my passion for visiting markets when travelling around the world.  I have just come back from a short trip to Florence. In Italy there is little separation between growing your own food and eating it!  In fact I was hard pressed to find any supermarket food at all. Everything was fresh and local. Such a pride in displaying their produce it was a joy to see.
The Mercato Centrale is Europe's largest covered food hall opened in 1874.  Built on 2 levels this just had to be one of my priorities. Lunch and evening meal every day was purchased here. Fresh olive bread, fresh mozzarella, beefsteak tomatoes and a bottle of Chianti!
 Many Italian courgettes (known as zucchine) are sold with their flowers still on.  In fact, you can buy the flowers on their own to deep fry in batter.  So many different varieties of each vegetable on sale here, so much choice of fresh food I could not help but salivate!
 Globe artichokes are sold in different sizes, colours and forms, whole like this or smaller and sold with the leaves peeled back, just with the inner hearts.
 This local variety of variegated lettuce was very attractive - in fact I wonder if it was a type of chicory.  I could just love to make a fresh salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar! Perfecto!
Oh... and there was some art too! ;-)


At 6:19 AM, Blogger Mark Willis said...

The "Variegated lettuce" is indeed a chicory / radicchio - probably "Variegato di Castelfranco". I have grown it a few times. It has a slightly bitter taste that complements sweet lettuce very well.

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

I do wish we had visited Florence, we had a Rome\Milan holiday years ago. I just love markets on hols too :)


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