Friday, June 2, 2017

At the Market

A riot of color and cacophony of sound, the market in Ortigia is a delight for anyone interested in food.  Local produce, fish just caught from the waters off Sicily, spices, condiments, and pastries are all part of this glorious food paradise.  The Sicilians are proud of their products, tomatoes from Pachino, capers from Pantelleria, and seafood from the Mediterranean are all part of the cooking here, and their pride in their products is obvious is the way they sell them.  

cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes from Pachino

Zucchini flowers



Salted capers, none of that brine here

Spices from around the world

Famed pistachios from Bronte


We were at the market with our guide and cooking teacher for the morning, Loredanna.  She and her colleagues are the new wave of entrepreneur here, wanting to grow the economy here in Sicily by teaching others about the cuisine, the island and its products.  she belongs to a cooperative in Ortigia that has taken over an old convent, where there is a cooking school, as well as areas for artists, and others who wish to grow the economy here.  

Did I mention the tuna?  This is the season and there is tuna and swordfish everywhere.  These are enormous fish, and by the end of the day, all of the fish is sold to the locals and the restaurants.  
I'm not sure if shark nose is a delicacy, but someone got one that morning

Not a fishy smell anywhere

Baby cod fish

It would not be an Italian market without flowers


Broccoli as big as your head

Our last stop at the end of the market was Salumeria Burgio, where only local products most with the DOP, DOC designation are sold.  So, premium products from Sicily.  We were given small tastes of some of the cheeses, and salame, and Loredana chose a few for our aperitivo before class.  
Heading out of the market, I caught the Orange Juice lady
As we left the market, we trekked back to the Impact Hub in the center of town.  There we were given aprons, and sat down to a large table for our cooking class using some of the ingredients that we'd bought at the market.  More on the class in my next post.  Ciao for now.

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