Siena holds a two-day market in Piazza del Campo the first weekend in December. Not only did I see the usual – pecorino of all kinds, panforte from Siena, prosciutto, salame, chestnuts – there were meats from Alto Adige (speck), cheese from Sardegna, sweets from Sicily, tortelli from Emilia-Romagna, and yes, vodka and caviar from Russia. And that was just the food and wine part. The other part of the market is filled with Christmas decorations, handicrafts and fun gifts.
And then I saw it. The very thing that can make me lose all rationale and throw caution to the wind. Right in front of me stood a tower of six wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano. I did as Dante wrote: I abandoned hope and entered. And I bought a kilo.
I belong in Italy.
And we begin.
Pecorino of all kinds.
On a sidestreet, slicing porchetta for sandwiches.
Tortelli, tortelloni, tortellini. It goes by many names and is always delicious.
This lovely gentleman is scooping some taralli for me. These snacks should come with a warning label. “Good luck eating just a few.”
Marinated garlic. OK. Sure. And then you spend the rest of the day alone. #SCOPE
Don’t disturb a master at work.
Meat from the north – Alto Adige.
Cheese from Sardegna
Nothing says “holiday market” like vodka from Russia.
Our Russian hostess was also serving caviar.
Chocolate from Perugia.
Almond brittle, hazelnut brittle, chocolate-covered walnuts and anything else you want.
More chocolate because (do we really need a reason?)