We should all take our children to the market to show them that apples don’t grow shrink-wrapped in packs of four.
In fact, we should all go to the market, even if we don’t need to do any shopping.
We could just go to meet the farmer whose food we’ll be eating at dinner, or to watch people haggling over prices, or to marvel at the stoic patience of people waiting their turn.
People don’t go to the market because the vegetables taste better or the cheese is fresher: that’s a bucolic lie aimed at the naive shopper. Especially in big cities, most of the stalls sell fruit and veg they bought at the wholesale market, sometimes of questionable quality. Instead, you need to seek out the actual farmers who know the history and geography of the produce they’re selling. Listen to what they say, read the hand-written signs, and stop at their stalls.
On a morning at the market you can meet people, get to know them, and experience culture and beauty: as well as apples you can buy fresh flowers; amongst the other seafood, you might find a red mullet; apart from carrots, there is a world of greens, roots and herbs that you’ll never find on sale in a supermarket.
These photos were taken at the Corso Brunelleschi market in Turin.
Guest blogger: Mariachiara Montera – www.thechefisonthetable.it