Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Italian Market

I had heard that as you walk down 9th street from Christian St., the smells of fresh produce, meats, vegetables, fish, and cheese mix in the air. Between the stands selling raw foods, there are bakeries, restaurants and cafes selling ready to eat fare that is equally appetizing in addition to vendors and shops selling items from random tchotchkes to cutlery. Going south of Washington St. introduces food from new regions to the senses as Mexican, Vietnamese, and Korean places dot the street and add variation to the market.
One morning in August, I decided to experience some of the many sensations the Italian Market offers. At the north end of the market, I started at Lorenzo's, which proved to be a prime place to start the day with tasty, inexpensive pizza. Walking down the street, I passed by produce stands and the giant mural of Frank Rizzo, a former Philadelphia mayor, before going into DiBruno Brothers. Stepping into the procurer of meats and cheese, a strong distinctive smell accompanied the assortment of Italian foods and appetizers sitting out in the open. I picked up some cheese and antipasti for later before heading back out onto the colorful market.
I also decided to check out Fante's, which has many types of high quality cookware for all situations and dishes, in addition to making their own coffee. I passed by butchers, pausing to look at the cuts in the windows before making it down to Giordano's, a produce seller on the corner of 9th and Washington.
It seems like it would be impossible to pass through the diverse market and not see a few things that pique your interest. Whether it's the smell of cheese or the sights of fruits and vegetables or the sounds of people specifying cuts or the taste of fresh baked pastries or the feel of fruit to make sure it's ripe, there is something for everybody. It's a fun place to go and a nice throwback to what markets used to be.

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