by Melinda Gallo

Il mio macellaio preferito

I've been going to the same macellaio (butcher) for over a year now. When he sees me, he smiles and winks at me. I'm always quite happy to see my white-haired macellaio with blue eyes. There is some unspoken pact between him and his colleagues. When they see me, they let him take care of me. So, I have only been served by the other butchers when he's not there at all.

Today when I arrived, he rolled his eyes as his customer asked him to cut some off of the roast and then asked to buy that extra piece afterwards. I smiled at him to let him know that I understood his impatience at her pickiness. She looked at me to see if I would agree with her desire to get only 1.5 kilo roast and not a 1.6 kilo roast. I couldn't look at her. I'm faithful to my macellaio.

He walked toward where I was on the other side of the counter and the woman next to me started to inch in front of me to get his attention. I knew that I didn't have to worry. He takes such good care of me that he doesn't let anyone cut in front of me. He looked straight at me and the woman realized it wasn't her turn so she backed down.

I told him what I wanted, "una bistecca di pollo..." (a piece of chicken with drumstick and thigh) "...tagliata in due," (cut in two) he finished my sentence. We both smiled. I guess he does know me pretty well.

When I asked for "una bella bistecca" (a nice steak), he told me that I should get, "questa qui è più cara però più buona" (this one here is more expensive, but better). I always follow his advice and when I come back I tell him how great it was. I notice when I stand in line that not many people give them much feedback. Sure, they have a lot of the same customers, but it is surprising that no one tells them how great their meats are.

I did try a few other butchers in the market and I always go back to my macellaio preferito (favorite butcher) because I feel the quality of their meats is superior. And, my macellaio is always nice to me. The other day when I came to pick up a pollo (chicken) to make broth, he went in the back to get me a good one.

After he has finished adding everything up on the electronic scale, I always have to wait to give him my money. I can never go by what is written. Today, it said, "12,60 Euros." After he put my meat in a bag, he whispered while enunciating clearly with his mouth, "11 Euros." I smiled and happily gave him my money. He handed me my ricevuta fiscale (receipt) and said, "Ciao!" So, I said, "Grazie...e buona giornata!"

Not only do I get the best meat in the market, but he also gives me a discount each time I go! I love my macellaio!

Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!