Lollygagging through a farmer’s market these days is becoming as common as having your morning cup of coffee. Fruits are bought now only when they’re in season and bread is bought only when it’s been freshly made that day along with fresh pasta (but only if you get there in time for it. What a disappointment if you’re late.)
Farmer’s markets are becoming the new family pastime. It’s a way to see neighbors, meet up with friends, where kids can gather to play… it’s a little slice of old America.
Local produce is the new “it” thing. In America that is.
In Italy, ‘local’ has been the norm since before the birth of this country I’m thinking. And it still is to this day. There is no strip mall complete with fast food court dining and there are no select days and times when only ‘local’ produce is available. It’s available all the time, and all over the place. There is no other choice. At least as far as I could tell there was no other option. Italians all over boasted about their local mozzarella as being the best in the region. Walk into a wine store (or any store for that matter because they all sell wine… I mean every store. Paradise.) and they’ll try and sell you the local varieties first because you won’t get any better than that.
Even the rest stop along the autostrada! Walk in there and you’ll see a pig roasting, a huge selection of fine cheeses, wines and chocolates to choose from and I’ll swear, you’ve never seen sandwiches like the ones they got there. We’re talking the best looking prepared sandwiches made with fresh mozzarella and prosciutto on italian bread made fresh that day. Truly mouth watering. There is no Popeye’s, Pizza Hut, McDonalds or Burger King in these places. You’re eating well in Italy… even in the rest stops. (And the airports too! I’m not kidding, these places are filled with fresh quality food, the likes of which will never be seen in JFK or Newark airports.)
So despite my hopes of lollygagging through an Italian market while in Italy, I had to accept the fact that Italy doesn’t need farmer’s markets because everywhere you go, it’s all fresh and it’s all the time.Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (914) 841-1121.