Thursday, October 20, 2011

Market in Ortigia

Most days there's a market in Ortigia with vendors selling fresh vegetables, fruits, and fish, along with bread, cheese, etc. For those of you on the coasts the fish market may not be anything special but in Iowa fish is pretty much "Mrs. Paul's" or "Long John Silver's" so for us it's a big deal to see huge tuna for sale where the guy chops off a steak with what looks like a sword. There's little doubt this stuff is fresh as there's no fishy smell around the market and these stalls are packed in next to fresh fruit and other vendors, including our friends here at the cheese shop. This place is most often crowded but on this day I was able to get a photo of them in a rare moment of inactivity. Yesterday I waded into a mob of both tourists and locals alike, asking for fresh mozzarella di bufala. Our friend said yes, he had some, but wait just a minute OK? So I waited while he unwrapped a huge prosciutto, sliced off some bits, rewrapped it and returned to the case, and then proceeded to prepare two large sandwiches with cheese along with the cured ham. I figured these must be for someone waiting ahead of me....but once he had them completed he cut them into smaller portions and started giving them away! Next he actually did make some sandwiches for waiting customers, who now were not in much of a rush as they enjoyed the free samples. This included yours truly! Once the sandwich folks were on their way, he turned to me and pulled out a huge ball of fresh cheese and I was on my way....before I spoiled my lunch appetite with any more free samples!

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