Monday September 16
Although I have been in Italy for three days, I guess I experienced some jet lag because I didn’t fall asleep till 3:30 this morning. But by 9:30 I felt rested and met Monica and Rick for breakfast. It had rained earlier but the weather seems to be improving. We headed out on foot to explore the well-known farmers market of Catania.
The market lives up to its reputation for being large, the fresh produce looked beautiful, and the prices were low.There was an unbelievable selection.
The market seemed to take up several city blocks, and the vendors offered almost anything you could want. Fresh cheeses and fresh fish of all types.
Nuts and fresh herbs. A butcher shop was even set up outside.
Farther down, non-Italians were selling non-food items, including CD’s, underwear, shoes, jewelry, purses, and cell phone cases. One man was even selling cigarettes for three euros a pack.
We were looking for flowers, and when we couldn’t find any, we asked a guy who was selling cheese if he knew where flowers might be. “Dove sono i fiori?” He answered, half in Italian and half in English, “No fiori. Would you like some cheese?” It was a good laugh.
Once we left the market, Monica and I decided to try an arancini. Catania is known for these fried rice balls filled with a variety of other foods, like cheese, meat, olives, and pomodoro sauce.
We bought one at a place called Panificio Pizze and shared it. Rick wasn’t interested in trying it, but Mo and I liked it. It was very filling, more than the two of us could eat. I found it interesting that the shop had slices of pizza with French fries on top. Later I learned that these are for children.
We are meeting our friend Angela at the hotel at 12:45. She is driving an hour from her home in Taormina and then the four of us are driving together to Caltagirone, where we are invited to lunch at the home of her brother, Calogero. Calogero’s wife, Monica, is one of the best cooks I have ever met, so we know already this will be another amazing food experience. Stay tuned.