Monday, September 14, 2009

The Markets: Differences in buying habits

I've decided I drink more milk than a large Italian family.
Here in Italy, people eat well. Italians enjoy good meals and the best ingredients & spices - fresh, in-season ingredients with no preservatives - which means frequent trips to the market. This is a contrast to life in the States when one will stock up on food for the next three weeks and always have a pantry full of convenient food. In our apartment, we have a tiny refrigerator, no pantry and no microwave. This translates into regular trips to the Mercato Centrale (above) or Mercato San Lorenzo (or our favorite grocer, Conads).

Additionally, things are sold in smaller portions - such as milk (the best beverage ever). Milk (or latte in Italian) is sold in 1 Liter bottles; for those of you who know me well, I could easily drink a gallon of milk a day. As you can guess, I'm at the market (left) daily. It's a fun part of daily life, but difficult to adjust to at times. I'm sure I'll get used to it (especially after learning new things to cook from my Food of Italy class!)

In addition to the food aspect, the markets sell everything from leather goods & clothing (Right: Kelley & Liz trying on hats) to household items to souvenirs - and prices are never set in stone. Haggling is a fun part of shopping here - for example, Ryan and I bought a beautiful handmade chess set (Above: Romans vs. Germans) and saved 20 Euros from the asking price. I am very happy to have a chess set in the house (I'm a huge nerd and used to play chess competitively and was very good as a kid).

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