I’m not a fan of Sundays. A few things disappoint: the end of the weekend high; the slower pace of the passeggiata; the city preparing for the week ahead. And the worst part, sparse food options. I get hungry on Sundays.
Last Sunday, my eyes (and appetite!) were opened up. Local Florentine foodie, Sabino Berardino, and his friend, chef Gennaro Napolitano, took me for a special experience in Val d’Arno, the ‘Cibo in Strada’ event. Literally, Food in the Street.
These vendors, their menus, and their humility are a wonderful rejection to the celebrity of food. It’s a place where a couple can share a simple but delicious plate of ‘frittura di mare.’ Or where a mechanical engineer can sell beautifully stuffed and fried olives in his spare time . Or where I can do a wonderful sampling of Italian specialties for the first time: lampredotto, fegatelli (pork liver in lardo) and a Pugliese ‘Bombette’ (grilled pork cheek with cheese and herbs). There’s no arrogance here. Even Marco Stabile (of the famed Ora d’Aria) is making panini.
The sleepy town that awakened for last Sunday woke me up a little bit too. Go to a street fair. Follow the locals. Be open.