Monday, November 18, 2013

Frutta e Verdura

Before we leave for Thanksgiving in the USA, we wanted to share a post about the Mercato in Scalea that is held rain or shine every Monday morning, all year. This market features the produce, fruit, cheese, salame and flowers of local growers. It is much larger than the markets where we sold our organic plants and veggies in Oregon.  It’s become part of our lives, as a market should.

There are about 3-4 dozen vendors depending on the weather. They range from the little Mom and Pop working a table with umbrella, to the professional growers with their custom trucks that have fold-out displays and shade. These latter farmers move from town to town over a week, re-stocking each night.

Di stopped to buy dried figs from our neighbor Domenica who tends a garden just down from us and sells in Scalea.

The produce is mostly local, but occasionally things come from Sicilia or other regions and they are usually marked as such. Apples, being colder climate fruit, come from the northern area. In the supermarkets, we buy things like leeks and avocados (porri e avocadi) and limes. I have learned that the avocados from Peru are in better shape with fewer bruises than those from Israel which is so much closer! Yes, bananas still come from Central America.

The smaller vendors along Via Fiume Lao

Cheeses mostly from sheep or goat milk

Plump grapes still available this late!

Even if you don’t need anything, it’s a beautiful place to spend a morning watching and listening to Italians bargaining to get a better price while chatting with neighbors.  If I knew how to transfer the video from my two cameras, I would post video with the sounds of this vibrant place. After I master the Italian language, I’ll try to learn the technical stuff.  Of course by then, video will be obsolete.

Just a couple kilometers away, there are some very serious, tidy family farms. Like farms all over Italy, these folks use season-extending hoop houses to grow all types of fruits and vegetables.

We'll be back in December after we return from our trip to the States, I'm sure we'll have some reverse culture shock as we haven't been back for almost four years!


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