Farmers markets: the key to Italian cuisine


There are places where you can go eat in ten different spots, eat ten different things and it will all taste the same. In Italy, you can go to ten different places, eat the same dish ten times, and it will always taste different

This sentence encapsulates the secret of Italian cuisine. In it are embedded the core components that make it so successful – and accessible – across the planet: it is local, it is fresh, it is healthy.

The ever changing variations of the taste of the dish is the result of the use of local ingredients: take any grocery product – tomatoes, beans, greens, you name it – and you will find an astonishing number of local varieties, each unique and with its own tasty twist. This is what makes the same dish vary slightly from one tasting to the next. Moreover, there’s Italian fantasy, creativity and a 3,000-year long (and counting…) “culinary lab” that gives us the pleasure of taste of which we never tire.

If this variety has been preserved and this process is thriving today it is because of the existence, the uniqueness and the vibrancy of the local farmers’ markets. These markets are the “hubs” of taste, besides being unique spots of concentrated humanity. They are the common denominator across the country’s 20 regions and its 20 regional cuisines and where the fresh and healthy produce is distributed. They provide the platform of ingredients for a spectacular palette of taste.

This video is a small tribute to this special part of town and country life. We have selected for you: Bologna, Roma and Siracusa to illustrate the trans-regional value and the specific identities of the Italian farmers’ market. In your traveling to Italy, we highly recommend that you stop by one of the local markets: chances are that these moments may become some of the most pleasant of your Italian adventure. Enjoy.

Script:

The result of three thousand years of experimentation
Italian cuisine is essentially based on fresh, local and seasonal produce.
The variety of species on displayed on farmers markets’ stalls is a choreography of colors and shapes.

In Northern Italy, such as Emilia Romagna, you will also often find cheese, meat and some of the products the region is celebrated for, such as tortellini, ravioli and gnocchi.

In Rome, the Campo dei Fiori market is a must and a classic; the visitors and locals alike can enjoy its unique combination of characters. The mild Roman climate also allows to have punch chestnuts and colorful flowers on display at the same time.

In Siracusa the farmers market offers a taste of a crossroads of the Mediterranean that Sicily once was. With their local produce mixed with olives, beans, chilies and spices that shopkeepers offer for tasting, picking and needling is a definite must.
And above all there is fish that rules the market. With his large sword fish and tuna, the cases of shrimps, octopus and a myriad of other species and shell fish.

In the end farmers markets have their unique blend of culture, tradition and humanity; they represent  an expression of the Italian art, and a way of life. Anywhere you’ll go, visit one and enjoy.

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