Title: Picking Garden Fresh Produce during our Cooking Classes
Category: Cultural Experiences on Our Soriano Vacations
Author: Michael Kovnick Updated: Jan 30, 2019 Views: 6,080
Tags: cooking class italy vegetable garden cooking class with fresh food homemade food in italy

Picking Garden Fresh Produce during our Cooking Classes

When we have fresh produce growing in our garden outside, our guests are invited to join us as we gather and pick the ingredients we will use preparing our meals.

In Italy, freshness is paramount... and the word "fresh" is taken more seriously by Italians than it is by most. As an example, consider this true story, written by Michael, the founder of Culture Discovery:

One day in Soriano my wife asked our daughter to go to the local vegetable market to pick up some zucchini she planned on using while making pasta for lunch. At the time, we had a 1 year old boy as well, and she was going to give some of the zucchini to him, too.

About 20 minutes later, our daughter returned home, quite upset. She said that the lady at the vegetable market refused to sell her the zucchini. Her Italian wasn't perfect, so she didn't understand why. She only knew that the lady asked her if the baby was going to eat the zucchini, and she replied "yes".Thinking our daughter misunderstood, my wife went to the market herself and asked why she refused to sell the zucchini.

The lady told her that she could not sell the zucchini if it was going to be eaten by the baby because that zucchini was old. It had been picked yesterday. She further explained that she told our daughter that her husband was down at the farm, and would return shortly with today's zucchini, which was fresh enough for the baby. By that point, he had returned. Paola got her just picked zucchini, went home, and made lunch.

That is what an Italian means by fresh.

In this tradition, we have a garden at the villa in Soriano where we grow many of the vegetables we use. That which we grow, we use in our cooking classes. We invite our guests to join us at each of our classes in picking from the garden. When zucchini flowers are blossoming, we'll go out and pick them for our pizza. When we need basil, rosemary, etc. we'll have our guests gather it outside. When wild raspberries are growing, we'll gather them and top our gelato with them. And of course... when the zucchini is ready, we pick it for our sauteed zucchini!

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