3rd entry – le marche 2012

For Welch …
We got up early and headed down to Fossombrone for the weekly farmers’ market. (Fossombrone is the municipality that the house we are in, is part of. Isola di Fano is the village that the house is in.) The markets are a mishmash between fresh fruits-and-vegetables, household items and clothing. In my mind, it’s the mall coming to the consumer and therefore my kind of thing. Young Italians are more willing to go to the indoor box-store malls with parking and chain stores. However, so far there is not a critical mass heading to the box-store malls and the outdoor markets are still busy and vibrant.

I love all the fresh fruits and vegetables, my kind of thing, and not having to go to a mall or a Giant Eagle kind of store is an added perk. We walked around looking at all the products and then we settled on the one or two vendors we liked. This ‘liking’ is a gut feeling consisting of answers to questions such as – do they have nice looking sales clerks? are they pushy in their sales pitch? are they helpful and tell me things I don’t know? are they willing to let me pick out my own tomatoes? are they snobs with airs? (You have to ask this of Italian vendors. Snobby usually means a 10% increase on the sales price. And given that I can be snobby with the best of them, I can pick them out immediately and I’m not giving my money to snots. I may be one, but I’m not paying extra for the priveldge of being with my kind of people.)

When I go with Rose and Derrick to these things, I’m the voice of reason. Left to their own devices, they would buy everything in sight. When it comes to food buying their frugal approach to life goes out the window. Derrick saw the cranberry colored beans – faggiole Borlotti – and then decided to buy three kilos. Now the debate is – “Do we take them home to Michigan or eat them here?” Even my mother urged them to eat them fresh and cook them immediately. (They decided to take them home to Michigan.)Once we got back fromt the market, they sat on the porch and husked them into a bowl. (I love the fact that an iPad is on the table as they surciano le surache an old Calabrese expression for shelling beans.

Lunch was fresh tomato salad with green onions and basil, a picante local cheese and these wonderful cucumbers. Rose and I put as much bread into the salad oil as we could jam. There is nothing as wonderful as Italian bread soaked in tomato salad juices.

The afternoon adventure was a trip to Fano to the TIM’s store to put in a new sim card into Derrick’s phone so that next week we could use it as a hot-spot. (Earle-and-Suzanne’s was not available for our second week, so we booked at an agriturismo – La Tavola Marche – and they do not have Internet.)