In a half-hour, I'm leaving the house to go see Il Profumo, a movie based on a German book. In Italian. This is a little intimidating - I should probably be reading the dictionary, rather than putting up a post, but we visited a market yesterday I wanted to tell you about.
I do love having such wonderful access, here in Florence, to many and varied Italian ingredients. I'm learning the difference in flavor between prosciutto and speck, and that's really exciting. But I can't TELL you how much I'm missing the access we had in Austin to an array of international tastes!
There are a couple of small international grocery stores here, including one called Vivimarket, which we visited yesterday.
It's on a small street over near the train station and the Mercato Centrale. We went there yesterday in search of Mexican ingredients - Husbear is craving chiles rellenos with refried beans, and the only way to get good ones around here is to make them yourself.
The small interior is arranged by country, for the most part, with a small dry goods section made up of rices and pulses and a smaller vegetable area, where you can buy okra for 9.75 E/kilo. (I was tempted. roasted okra...)
The Chinese and Japanese sections held most of my attention. Tofu, fermented and fresh, along with many packaged candies and twelve types of seaweed!
We found salad dressings, including "thousand islands" and this rather strange number.
I even know where to go to pick up matzah, when the time comes!
Among all of this wonderful international-ness, I spotted the section reserved for the United States. What treats would we find here? Perhaps a great barbeque sauce, or scrapple, or red flannel hash? Hmmm?
Nah. Try Duncan Hines cake mixes and lots and lots of peanut butter.
Those Americans sure do love their Cheez-Its and peanut butter! (Wait. Actually, I guess that's true...)
On the way home, we stopped by the awesome bakery up the street from our house so I could pick up my first taste of schiacciata con l'uva, or Florentine foccacia with grapes. It's only available right around now, when the wine grapes are being harvested. The bread, at least at this bakery, was made in layers - layer of bread, layer of tiny grapes, layer of bread, layer of grapes.
I took a bunch of pictures that are quite blurry. My bad.
It was the last piece they had left right before dinnertime, and it was totally delicious. The grapes still had theit crunchy little seeds, which made for a really varied texture. The bread itself was soft and moist, but not wet - like eating very thin toast spread with really tart/sweet grape jelly. I need more.
So, off I go to Il Profumo! Wish me luck....
ViviMarket: Via del Giglio 20-22r, 055/2648120
Pane e Foccacce: west side of the street on Via de Macci, right next door to Enoteca Bacconudo - north of Via dell'Agnolo.