I was in Italy in December – the 6th I think it was. I went to a regular supermarket, I love to do that, because it gives me insights into how “regular” people eat, and this was a regular supermarket, in a small town, full of people, who earn normal wages. Italian wages on average are not very high. On average a person might earn 1500 Euros a month (around 1600 Dollars a month), however for people with low qualifications, workers in restaurants, till managers etc. the salary is much lower. However, if you look at the bounty of vegetables they have on offer, and therefore, if they are on offer you know that there is a demand for them, you can see that this is a people, who eats well. Yes I know we knew that, but when you look at these vegetables, you understand why one would want to eat them. Freshly harvested, proud, delicious inviting yummy veggies! Made me want to drive down to Italy each weekend to buy myself a care package (no I didn’t do it, I know it wouldn’t be eco-conscious). Anyhow, isn’t it funny that we now celebrate farm to table etc etc. something that used to be the norm is being advertised as a revelation. Visiting Italy I can tell that there people apparently never stopped eating that way.
And of course apart from veggies all the other things you discover in a supermarket tell you about shopping and eating habits. For example:
Anchovy “sauce” – which is the modern day equivalent of the Roman “liquamen” – which they used to flavour their foods ( I have two interesting cookbooks on Roman cooking.. there is a recipe in one of them on how to make your own fermented anchovy liquamen – to date I have not been tempted)
Polenta grain from different types of grain – pretty and healthy..
Bread – hygienically presented – hands-off – I approve:
and of course sweets: