On returning from Europe, so many people comment on the fun they had food shopping. The romance of the boulangerie is very real, as is the lure of the cheesemonger and the merchants in the stalls of the small-town markets and urban food halls. I still smile when I think of the “chicken man” in the Buonconvento market, and I remember that grocery shopping can be fun.
In this season we rush from store to store, buying gifts and party provisions, or we scroll and click our way through long lists. The charm of Christmas markets and old world tradition seems remote in the aisles of Costco. But there are plenty of small shops and businesses here too.
Why not make time for slow food here at home? Visit a local cheese shop or butcher. Ask for suggestions from the smart guys who staff your local wine shop. Visit a co-op or farmer's market. Dig out an old family recipe and teach it to a younger person in the family.
Food can bring us closer together, and eating is something we all have in common. Here are some recipes and ideas from our Untours family travels.