Saturday, December 01, 2007

Getting Just What I Want~





Intriquing, fresh and quaint ~my preferred method of selecting restaurants and markets while on the road. Don't you agree that it really is wonderful to walk into an establishment where they are anxious to show off their food? Merchants are so happy to help you.... and you have some idea of the quality that will be served or purchased. I love watching chefs throw their creations together directly in front of my table... guess it would be similar to that of having my very own personal staff preparing my meal~

I also enjoy the privilege of being able to walk into a market and getting just what I want and the quantity of what I need~just enough bread for one day is all I am interested in. Anything else could be wasted. Fresh bread everyday.....no exceptions. I miss this interaction when I arrive back in the States, grocery shopping just isn't the same! I know there are places that are exceptional in the U.S.~I live so far away from these types of establisments. Those of you who have this service in your neighborhood or town are very fortunate! I can't wait to get back to my favorite little spots........do you have a few favorites?

19 comments:

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Where ever you took those photos, I want to be! I'm so with you on the shopping at markets in Europe! Some places in the States but so many more not here.

Simona said...

Pizza bianca, prosciutto, cheese: what else does one need from life? A glass of wine, if you like. There are some nice places in the East Bay and where I live we actually have a local family-owned grocery store, which is kind of an institution in the neighborhood. But the cultural context is different and so the place feels different.

K & S said...

these places sound so fun to shop at :)

Lydia said...

I'm fortunate to live near some small markets that specialize in this kind of service -- personalized, caring, and proud of what they sell. But in Europe, particularly, these markets are the norm; here they are the exception.

T.W. Barritt said...

Wouldn't it be nice to have more establishments like this in the US? You can find some in New York. McNulty's Tea and Coffee is an historic store on Christopher Street and Murray's Cheese in the Village has wonderful product and a personal touch. Not so much in the suburbs - so I do my special shopping in Manhattan.

Jann said...

mykitchen~The photos were taken in Florence last October-too many wonderful places there!

Simona ~You are so correct about the cultural context being different-it makes all the difference in the world. Thanks for stopping by!

Jann said...

K&S ~Sometimes I just get carried away visiting shops and markets ~I always seem to want to look around to see what is available -I enjoy the European food displays very much!

Lydia ~Oh, you are so fortunate to have all of that at your finger-tips....no wonder you are such an excellent cook!

T.W. You could not live in a better place in the states for specialized foods and quaint stores-I love visiting NYC for that reason...(and the theatre)

Betty C. said...

Choosing restaurants is one of my favorite parts of travelling. It's also fun to buy food to cook in a gîte or apartment...anything that's different!

Cynthia said...

In Barbados we get a little of that interaction but not much given that more than 80% of the food is imported here, and therefore sold in the supermarkets :(

Jann said...

Cynthia ~Thanks for stopping by ~ you certainly have been cooking up a storm!

winedeb said...

You know Jann, as soon as I hit the room where I am staying while traveling, I pull out the phone book to check out the "gourmet" stores or bakeries, and oh yes, the wine stores! Hubby thinks I am crazy but he is always the beneficiery of my shopping sprees. I have found the shops in France seem to be the top of the list for me. It seems every village has that special place for bread, cheese, etc. and the folks who run them are so proud of their goodies. I think here in the US we just have tooo many places to shop. Although there is a neighborhood fish market here in Key West that is fitting the bill for me on shopping local. I like it when you walk in the door and they know your name and seem glad to see ya!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I'm going mad, I keep trying to post a comment and press publish and the comment goes.... One last try...

You're so right with this post. We visit Spain quite a bit as we have family and friends there. I love going to all the little shops and buying bits of this and that. But even in Spain in the last 5-10 years they've opened huge supermarkets. Already an indoor market in my in-laws village has closed down. It's such a shame.

Christine said...

I loved shopping in Barcelona and Paris when I was there and thought I would be bereft when I arrived back home to the whole supermarket mentality. But actually my experience in Europe has prompted me to seek out smaller, more immediate venues to purchase our foodstuffs. The farmers market of course, but also the meat market within our local co-op - they brought out a whole, local lamb the other day, right in front of me and proceeded to cut it up! Then we have Brio, a local artisan bakery and cafe who make fabulous bread and deliver it daily to local stores. And Cypress Grove Chevre makes award winning cheese, just 12 miles down the road. Our milk, dairy products and eggs are local and organic too. I guess I'm a little spoiled by all this richness.

Maryann said...

I love shops where they want you to taste a bit of this and that and like to tell you about everything they offer. If they are excited about it, I am too :)

Kristen said...

What a wonderful little spot to visit!
I love going off the beaten path when traveling... and finding treasures like the ones you have found!

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Oh, just look at that focaccia...my mouth is watering!

Britt-Arnhild said...

Your post makes me want to hop on the first plane back to Italy......I will be going at Easter though :-)

Suz said...

hmmm... Jann. I am finding little unique spaces here in Colorado Springs, but they are very rare compared to Chicago and NYC, my former haunts. Living in places without these establishments dotting every other corner can be a little challenging. :( So, I look up to the mountains or I see the sun and I smile. :)

Christine said...

I know you're tres busy these days Jann, so I'm just stopping by to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. All the best to in your new venture!