Artichoke season is coming to a close here in Italy, so, I have decided that now (right now!) is the time for me to learn how to actually cook one of these suckers. Yes, it is my first time. Honestly, I am deathly afraid of them in their uncooked form. Artichokes (a.k.a. carciofi) are hard and prickly and rip open any grocery bag you attempt to put them in. On top of that, they have this mysterious part called the “choke,” which sounds horrible and is apparently hidden deep inside (ready to attack!). How could anyone eat something so threatening?! I mean, it’s an edible plant in the thistle family! Doesn’t that strike anyone else as odd? However, lucky for them, they are damn delicious. Hence, I’ve made a practice of paying someone else to deal with the cooking side of things. This is especially true when I am in Rome, where, due to some special additives in the water, they all know exactly how to make this (rather intimidating) vegetable taste like sliced (or steamed or fried) heaven. (Between you and me, I have a theory that the government is intentionally hiding the number of artichoke related deaths for nefarious artichoke eating purposes).
It’s my favorite time again. Time to talk markets in Florence. In our posts thus far, we have covered the large monthly markets in the city. For those of you who can’t plan a journey around the second or fourth or whatever Sunday of a given month, we have a solution: weekly markets! Going forward, we will be highlighting some of Florence’s best weekly markets. Unlike the monthly markets, which tend to be during the weekends, most of the weekly markets fall on weekdays. For those of you whose schedule will permit a visit to one or more of these, I highly recommend it! These market “staples” are some of my favorite weekday activities. Although, word to the wise, those who can’t resist trinkets and treasures when they are sold in outdoor market form, may want to get in the habit of leaving their wallets at home.
Considering today is the first of April and the sun is shining outside, the Florence Flower market seems an especially appropriate start to this series. This particular weekly market falls on Thursdays and, as the name indicates, specializes in one thing: flowers & plants. Continue reading…
From your team at Select Study Abroad