Mercato Rionale Monti – Artichokes and Amici
On via Baccina in Monti there is a huge structure that was one probably bustling with market vendors. Unfortunately the market is mostly empty now except for a butcher and one fruit and vegetable stand. I went with my friend P the other day while she bought oranges, so I could try out my new 24 mm lens. The bottom two photos are from that day. The owner of the stand saw my camera and immediately pulled together a little “display” of broccolo romano for me the shoot and told me how he is also a photographer with a darkroom at home. It turns out that even though he now lives out by Ciampino, he once lived in the same area of town where I now live. I mentioned the blog and told him I’d be back to take more photos.
I went by this morning and he immediately put together this amazing display of artichokes (carciofi) for me. After I took a few snaps he told me to wait a minute and he returned with a watering can so he could wet the artichokes to make them look even better! Of course I had to take his photo as well, which you will see posted and he should be checking this evening to see the results. Ciao! I’ll go back again and we’ll do another photo shoot, perhaps this time with pineapples as he suggested. It’s such a shame there aren’t more vendors in the market, I guess it speaks to the gentrification of the neighborhood unfortunately. Residents do their daily shopping in markets like this because this is where you find the freshest and best ingredients, not at the grocery store. As fewer residents around, the fewer markets needed.
Just a word on artichokes in Rome. If you don’t know already, Rome is quite famous for them and I’m a big fan. Even though I didn’t eat them much in the US, I still remember when I discovered pizza with artichokes while in Padova and memorized carciofi as my new Italian vocabulary word, which quite impressed my Italian friends in London.