You may have noticed that my husband and I like food. (No, really?!) We also like markets. So after getting our faces made up for Notte Bianca in Florence, it was only natural that our next stop that night would be the slow food market at the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, which was part of a slow food festival open that week only.
Like everything else in the Centro Storico that night, the market was throbbing with people. It seemed that every region in Italy was represented at this small-seller market, so it was like getting a mini-culinary tour of Italy.
We walked around for a good twenty minutes, canvassing the scene before choosing what to have for dinner. I was particularly tempted by a gelato flavor I’ve only seen in Tuscany: cantuccini e vin santo, biscuits and sweet wine (which tastes like communion wine or mompo, thus the name). But I was raised not to have gelato for dinner (only for breakfast!), so I moved on.
Tuscany is serious about its meat, particularly pig… and in these parts, pig doesn’t mean cute pink farm-raised pig. It means brown, hairy, forest-roaming wild boar, or cinghiale.
The moment I saw a boar head nailed to one of the stands, I knew what Marlon was going to have for dinner. You don’t spend nine years together and not learn how to predict these kinds of decisions. However, he decided to go for cinghiale’s domesticated cousin instead: stinco, or pork hocks. I suspect this tempting sight reminded him of good ol’ Cebu lechon.
As for me, I decided to go for an Italian calorie bomb: Silician arancini, “oranges” stuffed with meat sauce, mozzarella and rice. I made sure to get some gelati for dessert, though.
These two photos pretty much sum up the kind of food choices my husband and I make. He’s savory, I’m sweet. And they also sum up how happy food and markets make us.
If we were less compatible in this area, we’d probably be a lot skinnier! But I wonder if we would be as happy. His-and-hers happiness, what could be better?