first time at the italian market

Sunday's trip to the Italian Market on 9th Street in Philly was my first time ever. It was a lot different than I thought it'd be, but I loved it nonetheless. Now, before I's what was on our produce shopping list (aka the shopping list that was 100% spur of the moment and completely unplanned).

  • fresh asparagus
  • grapes
  • blueberries
  • romaine lettuce
  • baby spinach

Now, while the Italian market is very non-Italian in its look (and produce selection - pineapples?), the general feel was very bold,  tough-yet-loveable, especially once you're in line at


. We almost cut out a guy in front of us with his bag of De Cecco pasta, and we at once rectified our faux pas with a "sorry! you were in front of us!" He grunted back, "I know," and turned his shoulder to us.

Philadelphia is so lovely.

So while the produce market was the most photogenic, the stores selling the fresh-made pastas and aged cheeses were the ones that spoke to my soul. Claudio's and


(pictured) were the two that we poked into. At Claudio's, we surrendered to the most sumptuously sharp pecorino cheeses that were so crumbly and salty and flaky that my eyes rolled to the back of my head and took me instantly back to that tasting in Montepulciano. That was the day I became a cheese person.

We purchased a piccante pecorino, and another from Sardinia - both were fantastic. We also bought reeeeallly long spaghetti, pesto alla genovese, oh and more cheese smoked mozzarella (be still my beating heart), and marinated baby mozzarella. Claudio's was fun but tough. The guys behind the deli counter liked our passion for cheeses. I think by the time we left we were kind of buddies.

Then we rounded back to Talluto's for some arrabiata sauce, pesto agnolini (!!!), and a few more things that I can't remember.

All in all, a very successful first day ever of the Italian market. Mom and I gotta make it a monthly thing. When am I going back to Italy again??

ciao!! xo