Market Day

In anticipation of Mandy's arrival at Mimi tomorrow, Davis and I took a stroll to the St. Ambrogio market to fortify our paltry grocery stores. Some fruit, some meat, lotsa cheese. You know. Appetizers with a nod to breakfast.

What fun it is shopping in a place where food is art. Thoughtfully grown. Beautifully merchandised. Pridefully shared. Lovingly packaged.

Inside the market, meat, fish and cheese vendors purvey fresh and sometimes challenging stuffs. (Bunga Bunga cuts of beef. Lamb heads, rabbits and YELLOW chicken with feet on. Ducks with beaks. Fish with eyes.) Outside, amid the tables selling used furs, fabric sold "off the truck" for 1.5€ per meter and underwear (panties and bras from a street vendor? Eek...) one finds stall after stall of fruits and vegetables. Glorious, gorgeous things. Leeks and artichokes, Brussel sprouts and broccoli. Fragole from Sicily. Pears of many varieties. Oranges. Leaves attached. Bello.

At the Italian market, food is closer -- visually -- to its natural state: meat has a face, vegetables and fruits have stems and leaves and sometimes roots. One really understands what foods are: fellow travelers of Earth, not mere anonymous packages of fat, carbohydrate, fiber and protein. Harder to be a carnivore here? Yes. (That lamb is somebody's baby.) But easier to choose and eat well? Also yes.

Most everything is reasonably local and freshness is readily apparent. And in the choosing, one confronts the obvious place we humans occupy in the food chain and the responsibility inherent therein. Waste not. Want not.

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