Rome's Monteverde Nuovo Food Market

Of all of life’s great questions, perhaps the most confounding is this: How does one choose a good artichoke? (hint: they feel heavy and compact)

Carciofi(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Luckily, there is a place in Rome to find an answer to that and many other cooking (and living) conundrums: the Monteverde Nuovo food market.

Brian in the market(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Last week, we spent an illuminating morning there with a Roman native, combing through that morning’s fresh wares and selecting the finest seasonal produce—fava beans, zucchini flowers, agretti (salsola soda), asparagus, and, of course, artichokes—under her guiding hand.

Tweetable: There is no better place to rub elbows with Romans than at one of the city’s many local food markets.

Fava beans #italy #inseason(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

The market is bustling with local ladies carefully choosing (or, in some cases, watching with eagle eye as the vendor chooses) their ingredients for that day’s pranzo, and the air is filled with a lighthearted cacophony of banter, bargaining, and, of course, expert advice.

Agretti(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

After an hour or so of shopping, testing, tasting, and generally doing as the Romans do, we came away with a wealth of knowledge on how to spot the best fruit and vegetables, at the height of ripeness, freshness, and flavor. Especially artichokes.

Tomatoes.
(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)


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