Everyone knows that Italians are pretty much obsessed by food – it is the only place I know where people are discussing what they will have for their next meal before they have finished the one they are still eating!

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So when it comes to choosing food they expect the best – not just a package from a supermarket – they want to see and smell their next meal and imagine just how it will taste with their own particular mix of flavourings…. and the Sant’Ambrogio market is the place where real Italians go to buy their food.

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It is visually beautiful , spotlessly clean and all the stall holders seemed to want us to try their products – we could have eaten our lunch just on the proffered titbits – but we had a menu and selected just everything we needed….and it was delicious.

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Some of the more unusual foods on offer were the cheeses sold outside the market – a gentleman who was carving a pumpkin when we approached him specialises in Tuscan cold cuts – he sawed off chunks of finocchiona (fennel salami) and slices of mortadella (finely hashed or ground, heat-cured pork sausage) whilst I was organising my scatola of creamy Gorgonzola cheese….this doesn’t look anywhere near as wonderful as it tastes – whether with schiacciata bread or included within a creamy Gorgonzola, pear and walnut risotto – do not be put off by it’s non packaged appearance – it is just the best Gorgonzola I have ever tasted.

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Inside the market all meat is prepared in such a way that it is hard to resist buying one of everything….I hope that the photos illustrate this!

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Definitely worth the small effort to find this location just off the beaten track of the historic centre of the city – if you are in an apartment in Florence where you can cook or eat at home I urge you not to miss it!

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