How to choose a ripe avocado in Italy

You never have to guess which avocado is ready to devour!  You buy a big, beautiful Peruvian avocado, shipped by ship via South Africa (according to the label), in its own package.

The label assures you the avocado is ready to eat.  And, in my experience, it is!



Perfectly ripe.




They aren’t inexpensive, but a good avocado is a thing of beauty!

Market update

I must be very easily entertained.  I can go to an Italian supermarket and spend hours rambling around.  I usually restrain myself not only because I know very well I will have to carry whatever I buy home with my two little arms and hands, but also because supermarkets are crowded, noisy and currently very hot affairs.  I get pretty sick of bumping into other people, literally.  In the winter, I go a little crazier with my time.

So, what’s new at the market?

A lot!

Today I spotted this dried oregano from Sicily.



I hung it in my kitchen and now the room smells divine!  Fresh dried herbs!  Chi sa?


In the bakery department, this delectable caught my eye for lunch.  It came home with me, but won’t be here long!   Arugula and cherry tomatoes and pizza base.  Perche’ no!


And for those of you who wonder the costs of buying food here: this chunk of pizza cost 1.19 Euro. See:



The fruits and veg are bursting the seams of the market.  For less than 3 Euro I got this large package of apricots.



Pretty, huh?  As pretty to look at as any bouquet, at least in my mind.  Secondome.




For a real wow moment, check out these pepperoni.  That’s what peppers are called.  (Italians think American pepperoni pizza is made with these, not salami.)



This large package of 3 huge peppers cost 2.66 Euro.  Amazing!



With the package open, you can see the size of these things!  This is an average size table knife for contrast.



And last, for today, are the round zucchini.  Isn’t it cute?



A sign of good things to come.

Pretty much every morning, on my way to language school, I pass my favorite pasticceria in Florence: Rivoire.   When they are open (which is mostly every day, but not always), I stop in for a pasta da portare via, a pastry to go.  You pay at the cassa, about 1.5 Euro, and then walk over and choose your poison.  The cameriera wraps the pasta in a napkin and places it in a pretty little bag, as here:


My favorite pasta, or pastry, is a ciambella.  A ciambella is a doughnut, but at Rivoire “a doughnut” hardly does justice to the confection.  At Rivoire a ciambella is a yeasty circle of fried dough, covered in a granular sugar that covers your lips and cheeks when you’ve finished.  Trust me, it’s worth the trouble of wiping your face!  It is very much vale la pena.

Today Rivoire had no more ciambelle, so I got an apple strudel.  OMG.  This picture comes no where near how good it tasted!


Buon appetito!