Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Okay, I'm a foodie. I love food. I love to cook food, to eat food, to read about food, even to look at food. Because of this, no trip to Florence is complete without a visit to the Mercato Centrale, Florence's large, permanent market with fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, preapred and packaged foods and restaurants. It's a food lover's paradise!

Fruits and Vegetables_Florence_110The ground floor of the Mercato features the restaurants and permanent food sellers, while upstairs are the fresh fruit and vegetable stands. The upstairs is currently being renovated, so the fruits and veggies are temporarily located in a huge tent right outside the mercato. Needless to say, I enjoyed looking at the seasonal foods like the porcini mushrooms.

Judy Witts Francini and Gary Rhodes_117Inside the food hall I saw foods and fish and meats that I was unfamiliar with, but which were gorgeous and interesting to look at none-the-less. While wandering the aisles I did see one familiar site: our good friend Judy Witts Francini, aka DIVINA CUCINA! (You can keep up with Judy on her blog, OVER A TUSCAN STOVE.)  Judy was explaining all about porcini to English chef GARY RHODES.   Chef Rhodes is apparently filming the standard 'travel around Italy to sample all the regional foods' shows, and the focus of that day's filming was porcini. 
Porcini in Florence_123After buying a few porcini for ourselves we stopped by BARONI‚ÄôS, where they always have something interesting - and delicious.  Rumor has it that they sometimes have cheddar cheese, but I didn't see any that day, and since we'd already treated ourselves to a few slices the previous evening from PEGNA's just down the street from our hotel, I didn't need the fix.
If I lived in Florence I think my days would go like this:  head out to the Mercato Centrale in the morning.  Buy something different, somthing new, talk to the vendor about what the food and how to prepare it, then go home and spend the rest of the day cooking and searching the internet to learn more about my new food/ingredient.  In the evening I could take a passiagiata, get something simple for dinner like a gelato- and bask in the fact that I lived in Florence.  

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At 10/21/2009 03:03:00 AM , Blogger Gil said...

Baroni's is the best! We bought a bunch of stuff and they shipped it to our house in the US via Mailboxes, etc or something like that. Our son and his buddies tried most of the items before we got home and were totally amazed at what they shipped. We always talk of going there next time we go to Florence.

At 10/21/2009 05:08:00 AM , Blogger Judith in Umbria said...

Hahaha, with that schedule you'd have to alter your plan to ROLLING through the streets. I sometimes feel that way, but usually not in Florence, which is not really foodie except for the mercato, IMO.

At 10/22/2009 10:00:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barb, You have a marvelous eye for photography. The pictures of the fruits and vegetables, make you want to salvate and then jump for joy for the people that eat those fruits. What pleasure.



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