Seriously, MORE Festivals?!?! (yes, but this time there’s cheddar!)

Ciao Readers!

Okay, if you’re tired of hearing about all of the festivals here, this is not the post for you.  Then again, if you’re a festival junkie like me, read on…

It’s almost hard for me to believe how many festivals there are here in Florence.  I think I’ve just decided that festivals are a part of everyday life – like little food markets, the passeggiata and cappuccinos (and, “purtroppo,” the post office).  Seriously, I can’t remember a weekend in the past several months where there wasn’t at least one festival or festival-like happening.  And now that it’s the holiday season…well, you can do the math!

This past week marked the start of the German Christmas Market which runs for about 3 weeks in Piazza Santa Croce (recall this is where the European Food Festival was held).  It’s a little like that festival (complete with wurst), but with more permanent and holiday-adorned stalls, as well as more non-food gift items (pictures below).  There’s also the addition of a cold-weather treat we sampled – mulled wine (pictured in Steve’s hand) – we could not put our finger on what gave it its unique flavor (wine, spices, and….varnish?).

While all of that was fun enough, the festival came to an exciting crescendo when we came across the gentleman from England and his wondrous booth of… CHEDDAR CHEESE!!!!  (I actually yelled out-loud, in English, “OMG, he has CHEDDAR CHEESE!!!”)  Okay, now those of you reading this back in the States may be thinking “huh, what’s the big deal?”  I’ll tell you what the big deal is – it is the first time in 4 months we’ve had a taste of real cheddar cheese (and we used to eat this stuff by the pounds back in ABQ)!  (You may recall I have said you can get [very expensive] cheddar at Pegna, which is true, but the taste is not spot-on).  Not only does the English chap (pictured) have cheddar cheese, but he has a mind-boggling array of varieties (with jalapenos anyone?).  I think we were too overwhelmed by excitement (and taste-testing) to make coherent choices, but we did come home with two blocks (some of which will make its way into enchiladas tomorrow night; while we have no green chile, I did bring dried red).  We’ve agreed it’s worth the splurge, so before the festival ends we are going to go back and get one of the flavor assortment wheels pictured.  Woo Hoo!!!  (I actually had to e-mail another expat who I know stays on the lookout for cheddar as well – she responded with similar enthusiasm [“Yuuuuuum. How totally exciting!!”]).

I know it’s been a blog-post-filled week – thanks for reading and have a great weekend!!!

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7 Comments

  1. Lisa

     /  December 7, 2012

    I am a Texan who has been living in Milan for a little over a year. I have also made it my personal mission to find cheddar cheese (without success!) and, if I had known there was some in Florence this past weekend, I might have made a special trip! :)

    Reply
  2. Awesome story about cheddar. We are also Americans living in Milan and have only found one bagel place that has cheddar. If you guy ever find yourselves in Milan give us a shout.

    Reply
  3. Reblogged this on New Mexico to Italy and commented:

    It’s hard to believe this is the second holiday season since we returned from Florence. Now that the newness of being home has worn off a bit, the rose-colored remembrance phase has set in. Florence truly was a wonderful place to be during the holidays – the the lights, the festivals, the foods…. This blog post reminds me of that unique mix of excitement for Florence and longing for home that is still palpable as I read it. Happy Holidays to all!!!

    Reply
  4. Great re-reading! Happy holidays – what will you and Steve DO with all your cheddar options this year?! I bet you never take it for granted, that’s for sure! :o)

    Reply
    • Thanks! It does bring back fond memories – was looking through all the pics on the Happy Holidays post as well. But, am very happy to be celebrating here…. the River of Lights, tamales… And what about you in Vietnam?

      Reply

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