Well romantic it may be, but practical it is not. At least not for me right now. Maybe if I was an old lady without a nearly-10-month old strapped to my person at all times. The "big grocery store" here has many aisles that are too narrow for my stroller (or two people for that matter). So after a few trial runs with the stroller, I usually leave it home for my routine grocery shopping and take only Ada in the Baby Bjorn with just my wallet and the bags to carry my groceries home in.
|Can packaging get much cuter here? Also, veggies almost exclusively come in bulk. No bagged carrots here.|
It's beginning to feel a bit like Days Market (or Cheers) "where everybody knows your name." Only I don't know anyone's name. They all know Ada though and when we walk in I almost immediately hear, "Ciao! Patatina!! Come stai?! Sorridere per me? Ah! Che bella. Che bellisima! Tu sei una bambola—una bambolina! Una principessa!! Ciao amore!" It's friendly and makes me feel like I'm part of a community even though there is still a big language barrier.
Something I didn't realize for a few weeks was that you aren't supposed to touch the produce with your bare hands until after you buy it. The grocery stores provide you with plastic gloves to wear while picking out your fruit and veggies. At fruit stands, you don't pick up or touch what you want, you point and ask and the shop keeper gets everything for you.
Once every few weeks, Mikey and I trek outside the city walls to one of the discount grocery stores and stock up on basics like cheeses and pastas. The price of food drops significantly outside of the city center.
I also visit Mercato Delle Erbe about once per week where I get great prices on fresh produce. I'll often buy fresh bread or maybe fresh pasta while I'm there.
For the most part, food tastes similar to food back home. I remember Mikey and I had egg salad sandwiches one of our first days here and were really thrown off by how strikingly dark yellow the egg yolks are (Italians like the yolks dark—the yolks give pasta its yellow color). They also taste a bit different, but I can put my finger on what it is.
|Butter comes wrapped in paper and secured with metal eyelets.|
Fun fact: there are more pigs than people in Emilia-Romangna. It keeps a steady stream of prosciutto, pancetta, and various cured meats at the ready. Bologna is, after all, the birthplace of bologna. But not the Oscar Meyer kind.
Advent Calender Day 7: Gingerbread Cookies
Christmas Song: I Saw Three Ships by The Lower Lights