Campo dei Fiori Market, Rome, Italy

Arugula
Arugula

For today’s post I’m just going to let the pictures do most of the talking. Sorry for those of you on slow connections. These are all images from a morning stroll through the Campo dei Fiori market in Rome. Unfortunately we didn’t have a kitchen at this point in our trip, so other than fruit, I had to eat this bounty with my Nikon!

The arugula above is used in many ways including as an uncooked pizza topping, and is much better than we normally get in the US. It is crisp and just slightly bitter. It adds a nice strong flavor component to many vegetarian dishes.

Blueberries, blackberries, white currants, and strawberries
Blueberries, blackberries, white currants, and strawberries

Those strawberries were so delicate and flavorful. You could tell they weren’t bred just to travel 2000 miles.

The white currants come in for their close-up
The white currants come in for their close-up

I came home with these peal-like, slightly tart white currants, and Mini-Me scarfed them all up.

Zucchini Blossoms
Zucchini Blossoms

Man was I jealous of the zucchini blossoms that Italian cooks get. Even at farmer’s markets in the US they usually seem like an afterthought of whoever is growing the squash, and are always terribly expensive and usually about to wither. In Rome there were huge baskets of them that looked like they were picked an hour earlier. Even average places would have whole pizzas covered with them. You could taste them more that way than you can with the typical treatment of stuffing the with cheese, battering, and deep frying.

Trimming vegetables for sale
Trimming vegetables for sale

The market itself had a nice vibe, and isn’t that huge. Above you can see some of the folks that work there getting watercress and green beans ready to display.

Hot Peppers, Eggplant and Borlotti Beans
Hot Peppers, Eggplant and Borlotti Beans

The best advice for choosing many types of vegetables is to find ones that feel heavy for their size. These eggplant were like little cannonballs.

I love that we have so many great farmer’s markets in Seattle (and many places in America) now. I only hope that they get more frequent and closer to home. It would be awesome to be able to cook with ingredients this fresh every day. On the plus side, most of our farmer’s market produce is certified organic or at least unsprayed, while in Israel and Italy I didn’t see a whole lot of labeling.

You might also want to check out Heidi’s post about her favorite Roman market – turns out she was there at the same time as us!

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Friday, October 5th, 2007 in Travel.

2 Responses to “Campo dei Fiori Market, Rome, Italy”

  1. October 6, 2007 at 9:11 am #

    The market there is definitely lovely..so much produce! Have a great time.

  2. ACC
    June 12, 2008 at 12:03 pm #

    I bought a fabulous herbal blend at the Campo dei Fiori food market in Rome last November called Mauro. It is a highly fragrant herbal blend combined with hot peppers and instructions are “no cook.” Does anyone know the herbs included in this wonderful herbal concoction? All you need to do is sprinkle a small amount on pasta, pizza, antipasta — wonderful. Thank you for responding if you can.

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