Salvatore’s Vegetable Stand in Calabria

When looking for the freshest fruits and vegetables of Calabria, one only needs to follow the coastal highway to find a farmer proudly displaying their harvest. Cutting out the middle man, you’ll find locals along route 106 who are happy to tell you the story behind the crops and the farm ‘up the road’ they grew it on.

This past summer, I followed this road with my Italian wife and her family. Just after the village of Le Roccelle, but before reaching the Gebiola Porto Rhoca, we stopped at a particularly appealing stand. There, beside his little Piaggio Ape (a classic Italian three wheeled mini-truck) we met Salvatore, shading himself and his harvest from the sun with the help of an olive tree and a colorful umbrella.

As you’ll see in my photographs of the visit, the eggs, vegetables and fruits look amazing and often come in shapes and sizes that have been phased out by the large farms that supply most supermarkets today. Something is lost, when all that people see are selectively bred produce, grown to meet an accepted ideal of shape, size and taste. As you will see and taste after visiting a farmer’s stand on route 106, that something lost is everything.

 

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—All images and text are Copyright © Michael Durickas, All Rights Reserved.

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