Getting Fresh in Italia
I enjoy exploring Italy during the winter months. Lack of tourists has its benefits, many will agree. This winter is the first time I am here in Italy as a student at Siena School for Liberal Arts.
A few years ago, I traveled to Sicily with my friend Libby during summer. This was her first time to Italy. She told me about her Nonna who used to make stuffed artichokes for her.
It came as a bit of a shock to Libby that the dish she so desired was not available.
Wait staff would smile and tell us artichokes or Carciofi as they are called here, are a winter vegetable, and you will not find ANY in Sicily during this time!
In hindsight this makes perfect sense, if we can for a moment step out of our America mindset. What is so natural for an Italian, had us caught us slightly off-guard.
Since that trip, I have come to enjoy the traditional way of eating that defines most of Italy. Fresh, local and in season. When something is in season the locals can’t seem to get enough.
When I first arrived three weeks ago, I noticed towering mounds of artichokes offered at local produce stands. Shoppers almost elbowing each other to get to the wonder thistle home to the family dinner table.
Eating what is in season has many benefits. Not only does it help promote the local food culture and farmers, it also promotes sustainability.
I recommend savoring Italian produce in season, and at its peak. Your taste buds will thank you for it. Try one of our Private Food Tours to experience Italy like a local!