Sunday, April 11, 2010

This, That, and Gelato

Having class on Friday completely threw me off. I had no idea what day it was. But regardless of the day's name, it was a pretty good one.

My Food & Culture class was taken outside of the classroom and into Mercato Centrale for a little taste of some on-field research! We all were sent off to walk around the market and surrounding streets and take note of what the market is selling, who is shopping, who is selling, how they are marketed, what ethnicity products are of, etc. We had to interview a vendor, which made me sooo nervous. I'm such an introvert. BUT, I interviewed a fresh produce guy who did NOT speak English and I conducted the whole thing (um, all 2 minutes of it...I couldn't think of many interesting questions) in Italian. Woohoo! It was a really interesting experience, and I really enjoyed the time to just walk around the market expressly to study it closely. Such a fascinating place. SO touristy. It's really a shame, it gets treated essentially like a museum - just another site to see for tourists. Because of Florence's traffic situation, getting to the market for non-locals is a huge pain and often just too inconvenient. It's so sad, because supporting local businesses & farms is SO important, but convenience prevails. It's definitely an issue in the U.S., but awareness seems to be growing bit by bit. It's quite the money-saver too; the amount of produce I can get at the market for about $5 is enough for most of the week for me. And I think it's so much cooler to be able to buy an apple from the person who grew it--just takes the experience of eating to a different, more personal level.

In between classes, I stopped at my favorite cafe for the best cappuccino EVER. The perfect between-class activity!

My music class also took a field trip! We went to the Accademia (home to the David) to see their special exhibit of musical instruments collected by the Medici (Ferdinando specifically, I think). It was pretty cool; there was an elderly gentleman playing one of the harpsichords! It was nice to go with my professor to, who is so knowledgeable about everything music! But, about 3/4s of the way through my body started whining at me for having 2 classes mostly on-foot and no food. Being the clever gal that I am, I went to my sandwich place between classes and snagged a sandwich, which I scarfed down the minute I got home from the museum (which is literally 2 blocks away from the apartment). No picture - it disappeared before Frida could get a word snap in edgewise, but it was the same thing as last week (with some added arugula...mmm!)

It was another BEAUTiful spring day!! 'Bout time, too. Alaina and I did a bit of shopping around town - I needed some batteries before our weekend travels! When she gets hungry, Frida shuts down. Literally. And a shut-down camera is just no good in Tuscany.

Dinner was pretty basic, mostly because it was what I had on hand:
Lentils + some kind of leafy green I bought at the market + garlic + pecorino. Simple and delish. The bread was wonderful as well - a kind of whole wheat sourdough we found at the market. Perfect paired with the lentils+cheese!

Later, after a long struggle with flakey internet, I got restless and talked my roommates into a gelato field trip! (It usually doesn't take much talking ;) I was dying to try Grom's new grapefruit sorbetto, and I was definitely in the mood. To Grom we went!
Pompelmo rosso (red grapefruit) + Limone
The grapefruit was...well, grapefruit! Grom's fruit flavors are incredible because it tastes like the exact fruit and nothing else. I looooved the lemon - like a tastier version of those Minute Maid push-up pops (which I also quite like ;)! Hit the spot.

Bit of an uneventful and low-photo post - but I promise, it is just in preparation for the weekend to come! Lucca for an olive oil tasting on Saturday followed by a soccer game back here in Florence (VAI FIORENTINA!!!!), and then a hiking tour of Cinque Terre on Sunday. Good thing I happen to be in love with Tuscany, no?


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