On the second day of our week in Cariati, we had a delicious lunch consisting of traditional dishes from that part of Calabria in the Hotel Gattopardo’s restaurant in Cariati Marina.
We rose early and met Francesco Russo, the chef, downtown. We were not only going to eat, but also shop for fresh ingredients with Francesco and watch him prepare the dishes in the restaurant kitchen.
We went into a building that sold produce to restaurants. There were crates full of fruit and vegetables stacked up all over the floor. Francesco picked up some peppers and cherries, among other things.
Then we headed to a fresh fish stand set up in the piazza in front of the supermarket, and Francesco filled a bag with whole anchovies.
The final stop was to the bakery where the bakers invited us into the back of the store, showed us what they were making (and offered some to taste) and mugged for the camera.
I liked seeing the process and learning more about what went into the food we ate for lunch. It reminded me of the traditional Italian custom of going to several different little stores or markets and buying fresh, local ingredients.
In the next installment I’ll post photos of the preparation and lunch and talk more about the Calabrian dishes we ate.