Everyone who knows me is aware of my hatred and loathing of supermarkets, and their row upon row of perfectly packaged meat and vegetables. However, if every one was like Eataly, then I would change my views in an instant!
Eataly has stores countrywide in Italy, and also has stores in other countries. It houses everything that you could want for your Italian meal, together with a fantastic selection of wines and beers. You can choose a really high end wine for a special occasion, or bring your own bottle and fill it up from one of the barrels in store for €5 for 2 litres!
As with everywhere in Italy, it also hosts regular themed food festivals, where the restaurant is turned over to local producers who sell delicious street food. Previous festivals have included chocolate and the ‘festival of the potato.’
This weekend’s festival was hosted with the Agriturismo foundation. These are farm-stays all over Italy where you can enjoy great food and accommodation in the Italian countryside for a very reasonable price. This festival also appealed to me, as it promoted ‘farm to table’ eating, which is also something I am more than happy to promote! Even in England I would prefer to buy something straight from the producer, so that I knew how it was produced and to ensure that as much profit went back to the producer.
It also has a demonstration kitchen on site, which has regular cooking classes. Given my love of bread and baking, I have my eye on a bread and baking course in April. However, I may have to take Google Translate along with me, as my Italian is still at a basic level!