Friday, October 13, 2006

Curiosities of Milan's Markets

This stall really struck me this morning with it's orderliness and gorgeous color contrasts. I'll be dedicating the next few posts to the glories of Italy's outdoor markets this harvest season. I'll start off with some things I found out of the ordinary. Are you getting hungry?
From left to right, you see guanciale (hog maw, that is, cheek), donkey salame and horse sausage. I’ve never had donkey anything, but have tried horse sausage and horse steak. They are pretty good when I can trick myself into thinking I’m not eating horse. (My problem, nobody else’s.) The one item I can really recommend is the guanciale. It’s very similar to pancetta but is considered better and is more expensive. People often substitute pancetta for guanciale if they don’t want to pay too much. The original recipe of “pasta all’amatriciana” calls for Guanciale.
Olive per friggere were a mystery to me this morning. It looks, from what I’ve been able to find online, that this is mainly a Greek thing. There’s a type of olive called Throumbes (or Throubes) from the Greek island of Thasos, that can be cooked this way. Could it be another example of Greek traditions living on in Italy? Maybe. This recipe here for Fried Olives With Tomato and Rosemary looks like a simple and lovely way to serve them. I’m thinking bruschetta topping or a nice pasta sauce.

Tune in next for my fall favorites!


Blogger Lea said...

sweet!! I love living vicariously through your blog and visiting such awesome markets! ;-)

You know.. I am just so pissed off beyond belief that they have banned horse meat in this country. As if there arent more important things to worry about other than making sure Americans arent eating cutesy wutesy horses. GAH. sorry about the rant! ;-)

2:02 PM  
Blogger Lin said...

SUSAN! I don't think there is anything more winsome and charming and intoxicating than Italian markets -- and these are glorious!! OH TO BE THERE to taste and sample and bring home with all the potentiality of those luscious fruits and vegetables!! I LOVE THESE!! I am so eager to see more!!!! THANK YOU!

2:42 PM  
Blogger Ilva said...

You are right, that market stall looks incredible! Today I went to the large food hall in Florence, I should have taken photos...

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny how we never thought to go to an Italian market when we visited Italy - these pictures are lovely, Susan, infact, the first one reminds me a little of some of the more modern markets in India.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Asha said...

Hi Sasan!!
Beautiful Market!! Reminds me of Mysore market in India , all veg. ofcourse!! Meat vendors are kept seperate and far away from this market!! Specially during Mango season, half Mysore smells so sweet & delicious!! Ahh... Nostalgia!:))

Never knew they sell horse and donkey meat in Italy or anywhere else for that matter!!Do they raise them for their meat?Never tried it..

So many various fruits and veggies there!! Must be nice to have so many choices!! Enjoy!!

10:05 PM  
Blogger Corrie said...

love the photos! what a beautiful market! regarding the olives: here in le marche they deep fry olives (breaded) stuffed with meat--it's actually getting to be a better-known dish from le marche: olives alla ascolana (unfortunately i'm a vegetarian, but once i did eat a veggie version that was okay...the real thing, though, i hear is spectacular!). the ones in the photo of yours don't look right for that, though, since normally they use big green olives from ascoli, but who knows?

11:47 PM  
Blogger hellomelissa said...

that market is simply stunning.

2:54 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Lea, They banned horse meat all around the country? I wonder why. Hopefully it has nothing to do with cuddly sentiments about horses as opposed to say, cows or pigs. The horse butchers I've seen in Europe are all separate from the "regular" butchers. And people have always explained to me that it's because horse meat is "stronger" (piu' forte) than other meats. Isn't that bizarre. I don't get it.

Hi Lin, I really love the markets too, going there is my favorite activity in Italy.

Ilva, you take such great photos; by all means show us the markets of Florence!

5:41 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Lotus, You know, you're right! I remember seeing photos on your blog and others' of Indian markets and they are kind of similar, except you guyget to chew paan while you're shopping. I would just love to try that once.

Hi Foodie's Hope, Oh boy do I miss the mangoes (without even ever having tried the much-touted Indian ones)As far as selling horse and donkey meat, this was the first time I've seen donkey for sale but horse is sold in France and Switzerland (and probably other parts of Europe) as well.

Hi Stelle, You're not missing out! The olive alla ascolana with meat are not all that fabulous to me.

Hi Melissa, Yep, they put on a nice market here.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Lea said...

Yup... cuddly is exactly why they banned horse meat... hypocritical isnt it??

Here's the article:

6:20 PM  
Blogger Tracie P. said...

i've heard about 'dem fried olives, stelle. i would travel to le marche just to try them!

susan, ass salami? did you try it?

9:57 AM  

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