by Melinda Gallo

Autumn is here!

It's September and even though the temperatures are still high, autunno (fall) is officially here. It's sad to see the end of estate (summer) during which I enjoyed quieter streets and neighborhoods, but I'm happy for the change. My favorite place to see the change of seasons is in the food that's available. Now that estate is gone, I'll miss the cocomero (watermelon) and fiori di zucca (zucchini flowers).

When I went to shop for fruits and vegetables this morning in via dei Neri, I was happy to see that the Tuscan fichi (figs) were finally on sale. My ortolano (greengrocer) was selling the larger fichi from southern Italy during the estate, but the Tuscan ones are smaller, plumper, and much tastier in my opinion. He also had porri (leek) and riccia (frisée/curly lettuce), which he assured me were both grown locally. I bought a few fichi that my ortolano carefully chose for me and placed on top of the other groceries in my bag.

When I walked into the forno (bakery) across the street to buy pane (bread), I spotted the schiacciata con l'uva (a flat bread with red wine grapes) that is only sold this time of year when the right kind of uva (grapes) are in season. It's one of the things my suocera (mother-in-law) usually makes that Alessandro gobbles up. But, since she hasn't made any yet, I bought a juicy piece for us both.

When I got home to unpack my groceries, I was feeling better about the end of estate. Autunno is a wonderful season to have with so many new delicacies to enjoy.

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