Thursday, January 12, 2012

Il Baratolo (Flea Market) | Muffin Snobs

Early last week Fra was rummaging through the house (in a state of mess after the crazy holiday rollercoaster) ready to just put everything in a box and send it off to another place. The trash bin seemed to be the nearest exit so I had to put my foot down and convince him its better to try and sell them, surely there will be others who'll fancy some of these things (and many of them I really like.. still.. we'll be moving out of this apartment come April and whats the use keeping stuff for a house we don't have - yet). Spared from this diaspora of stuffage were my paper cutouts collection, some craft materials, fabrics, and treasured books. Lucky also on that sunday there was the Baratolo or monthly flea market. So for roughly two days I set off to pack everything we could let go off - one table and a rack for display and the night before the big day, I thought - hey why not I bake some muffins to give away to whoever buys something? Clever marketing strategy isn't it? I wanted to sell, thats for sure.

But anyway, it was KOLD and while the provincial and local "nobles" of Macerata walked around and inspected our wares, my grand muffin attraction only encouraged quizical looks (and smirks from our neighboring sellers. inside joke spread out about my muffin-fail without even having tasted it) we had some sales and not surprisingly from eclectic folk but really, if it weren't for that couple from Kosovo with his pregnant wife, we wouldn't have sold a basketfull of Adamo's baby stuff just like that.

Still, better to try and learn for good than theorize everything in the mind. Italians just aren't the kind who like freebies like food in a flea market intended for used and vintage items - it just doesn't fit! Some cultural rules have to be understood like eating is inside the house or restaurant and only at these hours: 1pm and 8pm on the DOT. No breakfast because thats usually just a shot of cafe espresso and a brioche (or some other sweet). It was a good day for a few good lessons on Italians and Italian behavior towards muffins (unheard of by many). Some friends who came by enjoyed eating them though and even brought home some for next day's breakfast.

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