It’s Christmas Eve, and the thought of pushing through the crowds at any decent American food market makes my skin crawl.
So, as my mother advised, I try to think of nice things during these trying times. I think of places where people care about their food, and the concept of what makes up good food isn’t determined by corporate bean counters. I really miss the open-air markets of Italy.
Panel trucks, many unmarked, pull into stalls, then transform themselves into storefronts with some slight-of-hand modifications I never tire of watching (from a bar, with a steaming Caffè macchiato in front of me).
Many of these trucks show up one by one at the smaller locations between markets as well. Almost every tiny cluster of villages is served by the “vegetable truck” or the “fish truck.” In smaller places you have to be there right on time; the truck doesn’t stay long. But even if you are without car, and your village is without rail service or food stores, you can still get groceries. And decent groceries at that.
I like that. I like knowing that there are still places on earth where human needs take precedence over corporate ones. Here’s a picture from the weekly Bagnone market: