Another highlight of the cooking school was the chance to visit an Italian food market. This market comes to Figline Valdarno every Tuesday, and luckily this Tuesday was one of the prettiest days of the trip.
There's the market over there across the street. Chef Claudio was pleased that he found us a parking space close by.
Claudio explained that these are organic oranges. You can tell because they still have leaves attached. I'm not sure the leaves indicate the oranges are better, but they do make the oranges prettier.
I think that's the raab over there on the left that Claudio used to make the frittata.
Claudio seemed to know everybody at the market.
He would laugh and joke with the vendors. He liked them all and they all liked him.
Cindy eyes some cheese.
This lady was scooping salted sardines from the big can. Claudio insists that sardines can be very good. I dunno.
The smells reminded me of stalls at the Mid South Fair in Memphis.
A big slice of swordfish for Chef Claudio. Only the best for Claudio.
Claudio points out some weird fishes from the Mediterranean.
That, my friends, is a clock tower.
The Tuesday market is popular with the locals.
This was an Italian barbecue stand. See the pig with the loaf of bread in his mouth? It smelled almost like Leonard's.
Tripe. Big slabs of tripe. Let's move on to the next stall.
Picking out the best artichokes to fry later in the day.
Bill likes pretty much everything he sees. Except maybe for the tripe.
Claudio teaches and shops at the same time.
I would have liked nothing better than to have hidden one of these in my luggage on the trip home. But no ....
Cheese, cheese, cheese. Want to know a secret? It's all GOOD.
Still scooping sardines.
Almost time to go.
No, wait! We need some cheese!
That's the market's schedule. On Monday (Lunedi) it's in Vergato. And so forth down to Saturday in Castelfiorentino.
On to the butcher shop! Just look at those poor scrawny chickens.
Free range + No hormones = Scrawny
The butcher shop is a big place.
Oh look! Sheep heads sawed in half. Yum.
Bill is very very pleased with this morning's delightful experience in an Italian market. He can't wait to get back to South Philly so he can shop with an experienced eye.