Well, it’s official. It is suddenly Fall. Temperatures still rise to low 70s in the afternoon but as soon as the sun sets it is decidedly chilly. This is the time of year I have a hard time deciding what to wear. Inside the house is colder than outside so I tend to overdress. This is not a problem for Italians who dress to the calendar, not the temperature. So already they are wearing puffy winter coats and scarves. And I’m in a T-shirt.
And it is time to wrap up the corn saga. As you may recall, I planted corn in containers on my terrazzo and also in a friends garden. We had the hottest summer on record and consequently only a little of the corn plumped up and was edible. I believe I harvested 11 ears. And they were wonderful. The container corn was not a success at all. It tassled and had small ears that never matured. So here is our final goodbye to the 2017 corn project. Next year!
And the foods in our markets are changing rapidly. Gone are the tomatoes…sniff. And the melons. But we still have mounds of just ripe peppers to include the picante types. And we still have zucchini. The sweet, tiny ripe grapes from the fields nearby have just come in. And the pumpkins and winter squash have arrived as well.
Recently I did an interview with a writer for International Living. She’s writing an article about retiring and the differences in prices people can expect between Umbria and the US. I was happy to oblige. One misconception is that we have to pay more to eat local and in season here. I remember visiting the farmers markets in Virginia and paying top dollar for the products. Not so here. If you buy seasonally, when the vegetables and fruits are at their peak and bountiful, you pay the least because there IS such bounty. And I am definitely a person who cooks and cares to eat good tasting food which is in season. I spend around 8€ ($9) for a big grocery bag of fresh produce.
Almost too pretty to eat. Looks like sculpture!
The citrus has arrived. It will get better as we go through the winter.
Last of the Borlotti beans and eggplant. The eggplant is scrawny.
And the pears are plentiful and luscious.
The Wednesday market is very different than the Saturday one. The Wednesday market is mostly the big vendors who go from market to market in the different towns each day (for instance Città di Castello is Thursday, Gubbio is Tuesday). Their produce is not necessarily local. I believe they DO buy local when they have the chance but most of the food comes from the south of Italy and Sicily. Still local to this country but… And you can get things from them earlier than when they are coming into season here. You can also get tomatoes all year, from Sicily, but I don’t care for them. There are one or two locals who come to both Wednesday and Saturday markets. Now, the Saturday market is only very local products from nearby farms. Thus you really do eat only what is in in season nearby. Winter can be pretty sparse in this one.
Greens are what is growing around here.
And I thought I would plant some fall things this year. I got a few lettuce plants and four petunias. I think the petunias may last the winter. And we shall see how the lettuce does.
Glad you liked the post. I love fall but know winter is nigh. Glad to have shared my corn with you! And I wish for better luck (and weather) next year. I have a line on a couple of people with better garden space. I too like that the groceries (even chains) have local stuff.
Very nice autumn post! Umbrian markets & local produces are wonderful. Love the change of season too … As an American in Campania,Italy, who loves (and sadly had mostly forgotten about) good summer corn, I was thrilled even a little privileged to be at your table the night it was harvested enjoying those variously delicious (maybe a bit mini) ears. It was definitely a long lost treat.
Such devotion to table & food craft the Italians have, and also you amica mia.
It’s great to be able to continue a 20-years-in-California habit of buying zeroK local when possible at markets here in Italy. And settling when we must for produce from a bit further afield…Sorrento lemons, Sicilian mandarini! Just had my first of the season…from Puglia.
Bacini e a presto,
PS: Such adorable pansies!