Sant’ Ambrogio Market

For a while now I have been wanting to walk into town for a bit of exercise and to re-visit my old stomping ground (I remember there were a lot of fabulous shops along the strip of road that took me to my old supermarket) and to hit the food markets. For the summer months it was way too hot to even think of going on a 40-minute walk into town. However, now the boys are in school, I have mornings free and my friend Shelly is also up for morning market visits, and so we finally wandered into town last week.

It seemed like a very quick walk, we hit Sant’ Ambrogio in about 40 minutes which also included the obligatory coffee and pastry stop off (when living in Firenze!). Shelly is very passionate about the organic movement and she had found a farmer a few weeks back who grows organic produce and wanted to go back to him. We have talked about the organic movement quite a bit and if I am honest, I don’t think a lot of the farmers in Italy use chemicals quite as much as Australian and American farmers and I am more than happy to shop around picking up produce that looks good and smells like it is the real deal, I haven’t been disappointed yet.

The farmer was very nice and his produce didn’t look like other organic farmers I have seen, where the bugs have got to veggies first and you get the second best parts but pay a premium. No, this was good looking produce, I’m sorry to say I didn’t get any photos of the produce…….. I was too busy buying! How about a market shot instead?

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The other surprising fact with this organic farmer was it didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I bought some polenta, carrots, potatoes, peppers, cavolo nero, eggplant and something else for the glorious price of 12 euro! I have since cooked all my veggies and made some polenta and can happily report they were all delicious, flavoursome and have me thinking I need to go back for more.

I went a little crazy in the outside section, it was pretty hard not to considering there was a man selling gorgonzola & olives and an Asian lady with all her Asian produce; by the time we went into the covered section I had already blown a hole in my purse. However, this did leave me time to window shop and take photos.

As soon as we walked in through the doors I was drooling over this pasta store. Vibrant colours of pesto and homemade pasta were staring at me…what had I done, how could I not remember the inside section!!???

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Shelly highly recommended the lemon ravioli which I was already eying off along with the fungi porcini parcels and ragù di carne….heaven without the coin is somewhat of a wet blanket; however, I won’t be so narrow minded with my next shopping trip!

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Shelly pleased as punch with her purchase…..and I love that they write the cooking time on the packet, so you don’t ruin all the hard work that has been put into making the pasta.

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Cheese was our next destination, you could just follow your nose to this store as it was pungent and mouthwatering. I’d just bought a lovely piece of pecorino the day before so I wasn’t so miffed I didn’t purchase some of the offerings this time round.

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While Shelly was asking the lady about the organic cheeses on offer I was poking my head around looking at the meat counter which always catches my attention. I looked a little further and this is what I found….

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It was concealed in it’s own compartment and looking like something from a Doctor Who episode! I know it looks VERY unappetising but I couldn’t stop looking at it and wondering what all the bits were (it’s the chef in me). It did help me figure out what I was eating in a restaurant a few weeks ago, though part of me wishes I still didn’t know but the texture of tripe is kinda hard to disguise. I know, I know, I can’t finish the blog with this as my last offering to you so here is another rose from my blooming garden to wipe the eyes clean….

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14 thoughts on “Sant’ Ambrogio Market

  1. So organic food means having the “second bite” often over there? Really? Here the produce may not fulfill the EU guidelines on size or form but otherwise the products look, smell and taste good ( often tasts better and more). But they are pricey and you can’t get them everywhere so I don’t really buy them. But looks like a great market. And thanks for the rose at the end!

    • My views on organic are purely my own. I am yet to see ‘organic’ worth as much as some people charge esp in Aust and the US so I do become doubtful when I see it looking some what old. Next time I’ll take photos and show off what great quality this farmer has but I’m with you and can’t afford all organic…my family eats to much fruit and veg, I’d have to get a third job!

  2. Mmmmm you had me until the tripe! You have to ask the question…..WHY! In our home town organic means a little spot at the end of the fruit and veg section with a very large price tag.

  3. Oh my gosh…I would blow a fortune on all that gorgeous produce, pasta, cheese!!! The outdoor market in Cernobbio was the highlight of my last trip to Italy!!!! There are a few things I like to look for organic…but the prices can be ridiculous!

  4. Now I read somewhere that if you like organic but can’t afford the price tag there are some things you should prioritise (the “least organic” produce under industrial farming methods). I know strawberries and bananas are on the list but can’t for the life of me remember them all. In fact my mind is mostly full of the phrase “lemon ravioli” at the moment. You don’t happen to have any tips for making that??

      • Ooh, ok, thanks! I must admit my pasta dough needs some (a lot) of work, especially when it comes to ravioli. I can’t seem to get that ravioli attachment I “had to have” to make anything except mush so my usual fallback is to just roll out some pasta and make largish, amorphous ravioli blobs (and then blame the mishapenness on the kids).

        But apparently you can’t make ravioli taste bad – only look bad – so I am definitely game to try that filling. Just have to save up for the cheeses (cheese here – not cheap).

  5. Market looks wonderful. Except the tripe i agree. Ian cooked tripe for himself recently when I wasn’t home. he likes it. I think it’s tasteless and has unpleasant texture!

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