These shops have a small selection of produce, cheese, bread and meats, and general household items like soap, toilet paper and toothpaste. Two are also macelleria (butchers) where I’ve bought ground meat for us and sliced meat to hide Vince’s large glucosamine pills. One could easily exist in Santa Domenica without leaving and many of the older people do just that – some of these are the folks that give us the eye when we come walking thru town with bags from out of town!
Here’s one of my favorites for shopping. Il Mercatissimo located in San Nicola Arcella nearby. They have almost everything I ever need, no crowds and we’ll avoid the August tourist traffic by staying out of Scalea.
The small staff has already gotten to know me and was prepared to ham for the camera.
Fresh bread comes from 4 different bakeries in the area. Only one has a retail outlet. We have one in our town that we need to visit for a story!
Note the stacks of bottled water in most stores
I’ve heard that Italians started bottling water when towns started treating water decades ago – they didn’t trust city water and would only drink bottled spring water. Many still feel that way and people walk away with 24 liters of water along with a cart load of pasta.
In addition to the local shops and supermarkets, Scalea has a great weekly farmer’s market for buying fresh produce, cheese, etc. It’s a nice experience. We used to sell our organic produce at market so we will always feel a bound with these folks.
Here’s wild asparagus brought to market. We tried it once and I overcooked most of it. It’s also bitter to my taste but Di likes it better than farm grown. I found domesticated asparagus at last Monday’s Scalea market.
Neither of us know much about cooking seafood, so we’ll move slowly before buying a salted sea bass!
This is definitely the season for carciofi (artichoke) and we are eating our share.
Most of the vendors are within 75 miles and are pretty closely regulated. I saw that even small growers with a table and umbrella still had to have an accurate scale and cash register that prints a receipt.
We enjoy eating out a little more than we did in the states, but are trying to get into the swing of how to cook at home here. Lunch at one and dinner at eight. Here are some home meals:
I try re-creating restaurant meals at home and mimic their equipment for shredded cheese and a hot pepper/oil drizzle.
We also bought a mid level caffe machine that creates great espresso, or can run longer filling a larger cup with caffe Americano. Italians--like most people--love dolce (sweets). Lots of cookies and cakes, especially for occasions like Easter. Neither of us bake and we both avoid sweet foods, but it helps to keep something around the house in case the neighbors come over for coffee.
No one eats breakfast here, so we fit in. An occasional English dish of bacon and eggs keeps the coronary arteries on their toes. Arturo here in Santa Domenica is good at getting Di the Coke Zero she likes and says that he can find me tortillas so I can surprise the neighbors with some enchiladas.
I’ll continue next time with tidbits about a couple of local restaurants. That will include a current favorite lunch site on the beach where the sea colors yesterday were awesome.
Buon appetito, Guido