On Sunday, my husband and I headed to Philadelphia with the kids in tow. The trip was not a trip to do a little clothing shopping on Walnut Street, not to do some shopping for housewares on Chestnut, nope, none of the above today. The sole purpose was for a visit to the 9th Street Italian Market, to stock up on some authentic, not what your going to find at your local grocery store food. Now, I wish I could tell you I come often, and that I have memories of coming as a child, but, no, we don't come nearly enough and I have no memories of coming as a child. My husband, on the other hand is the son of Sicilian immigrants. He's the one that came to the market every Monday as a child with his mom and dad. The above picture, to me, is synonymous with the Italian Market. It's a very prominent sign on one of the street corners.
That's some fresh produce right there. And the prices can not be touched. Look at the size of those beets! I have never seen any quite that big. Why would I want to buy at the grocery store if I could buy produce that's grown in my backyard?
And, then there's Claudio's....((Sigh)) If you love cheese, this is heaven for you. But, what I come for is the fig vinegar. Never in my life.... oh, it's just really great vinegar. Lots of other speciality foods too.
The gallons of olive oil... every type you could imagine... And, there's more too.An inviting corner shop filled with....(see window) The aroma inside is intoxicating. The best Italian pastry shop. And believe me, I've been to a lot. Nothing fancy inside, just really good, Italian sweets made my sweet, old Italian ladies. Unfortunately they are closed the months on July and August. A tradition born from necessity. Before there were refrigerators, and air conditioning, the cakes and pastries would not hold up in the summer heat. The bakeries were forced to closed, now they spend the down time with their families and enjoy their little hiatus, until September comes.
We worked up a little appetite. For us, Geno's is always on the menu when we head to Philly. We got there, the line wasn't too awfully bad. By the time we ate our cheese steaks, the line was out the street and wrapped around the building..... hundreds deep.
Geno's competition was equally as busy... I realize there are no people in this picture now, but trust me, they were there.Of course, after the steak, we needed something sweet. No worries, Capogiro has the most delicious gelato this side of the pond. Flavors like Thai coconut milk, sea salt, Italian Basil and the usual fruit and nut... all tasty. Makes for a tough decision. I had watermelon, basil and blueberry. To die for.