We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Special delivery from Sant'Erasmo

When my friend Caterina suggested I try ordering vegetables directly from her friends who have a farm on Sant'Erasmo, I figured "What the heck, I'll give it a shot".  She emailed me the website address (http://isaporidisanterasmo.com/) , I logged on, registered, and proceeded to make my first order from  I Sapori di Sant'Erasmo di Carlo e Claudio Finotello. You have to select where you want the vegetables delivered, with choices of Fondamenta Nuove, San Giobbe in Cannaregio, Lido, Giudecca and San Trovaso.  I selected San Trovaso, which is the closest to our apartment.  They provide a weekly list of what vegetables will be available that week, you check off which ones you want and a quantity (kilo, bunch etc, depending on what is possible for each vegetable).  In addition, you may select a large or medium mixed bag for 10 or 5 Euros respectively.

For our very first order, I chose the medium mixed bag (or mystery bag as I have christened it), a kilo of spinach and a bunch of parsley. Caterina had warned me that the mixed bags were filled with stuff, so I decided not to overdo my order. We were late getting to San Trovaso last Friday, but the vegetable guys were there waiting.

I must report that my mixed bag was stuffed with a wonderful assortment of vegetables: a head of lettuce, a head of red cabbage, a kilo of spinach, a large bunch of swiss chard, a bag of mixed greens for salad, and a huge bunch of something we could not even identify. Figures there would be a mystery vegetable in my mystery bag!  And wouldn't you know it, we also had another kilo of spinach.  We have since identified that bunch of stuff -Rosalino, but we still have no idea how to cook or use it.

We ate alot of spinach in the coming days, including a wonderful spinach quiche, and spinach and ricotta cannelloni.  It was some of the best spinach I can ever remember eating, and even though I am taking a spinach break this week, I am eager to order more next week.

This week, I only ordered a kilo of cabbage, and some parsley. Since we discovered a roasted cabbage recipe recently, we have been having it often.   So, Friday evening around 7pm, Mike and I wandered over to San Trovaso to wait for the vegetable boat.  Not long ago a lovely little winebar  called Al Squero (perfect name!) opened up directly across from the squero at San Trovaso, and it's the perfect spot to sit for a bit while waiting.

Here's my view from the window of Al Squero last evening. Does it get any better than this?

A boat pulled up along the bank at 7:15 pm, exactly on time, and I went outside to check to see if it was the guys from Sant'Erasmo. Yes, Carlo and Claudio were there!  The boat deck was empty, but as the board coverings were pulled off the boat deck one by one, bags of vegetables were revealed. And, magically, out of nowhere it seems about 15 people also arrived, some toting their grocery carts, in time for their deliveries. Evidently what I missed the week before by being late was seeing this eager, and by the number of bags revealed, fairly large group of people who also enjoy ordering from Carlo and Claudio!

After all the bags had been revealed, the guy set up a little box for collecting money, then started pulling out bags and calling names off.  As much as I enjoy going to Rialto market, I am delighted to be able to  directly support this local farmer.  

Sant'Erasmo, an island off of Venice, not far from Burano, is predominantly a farm island. Artichoke is a primary crop.

A note from me: - Yes, I realize I have been a phantom for a few weeks. Many thanks for the emails asking if I am ok.  Yes, I am ok, just slower getting over the dogs than I ever expected.  Despite trying to keep busy, not much has worked to snap me out of the doldrums. This week I am trying a new approach, a little writing therapy. You've been forewarned! 


Susie L said...

I am truly sorry for the loss of your beloved dogs. I hope the pain becomes less with each passing day.

This post is so cool! How I would love this, thanks for sharing!

Dianne said...

I understand completely the difficulty of getting over a dog's passing and two within days of each other had to have been hard. You are in my thoughts.

Won't be getting to Venice this year. I am going to France (Paris) for some remedial French lessons. I seem to have forgotten much of my French since I started to study Italian.

Andrew said...

Nice to have you back Karen. Rosalino? Was it cabbage family? How do you roast your cabbage? sounds great. What a great way to spend an evening. Wish we were there.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry about your dogs, and I think writing will surely help you...I know the vey squero you were sitting across from. Your writing helps to make us happy here in the US, and that's a good thing!
Susan from KY

Vicky said...

What a fantastic post, thanks Karen.

maryk said...

Al Squero is great - we visited there a number of times last year and they were always really friendly (and the wine wasn't bad either!).

What a great service the vegetable delivery is and Isn't is terrific to see so many bags of vegetables being delivered!

karen said...

MaryK- I think you must have gone to the the winebar up the canal from the squero, because Al Squero, where I took the photo from, has only been open a little less than 2 months. Perhaps next time you are here you will stop in!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Karen. Welcome back.

What a great way to get your vegetables! I think the Libreria Marco Polo has this service too, e vero?

Perhaps you can post your roast cabbage recipe for us?

Sandra said...

Karen, I am so sorry for the loss of dear dogs. Glad to see you back. Love your post!! My mouth is watering just thinking about all those fresh vegetables, like the spinach! The picture of the boat,loaded with all those bags of fresh veggies, looks like they have quite a following!

maryk said...

Karen -I've got their card here. Al Squero Dorsoduro 943/944 it says. We were there in late December and they'd only just opened little before. It's right next to a building that had scaffolding up.....

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Thank you for another wonderful post.

I hope things are a bit easier from now on for you.

karen said...

MaryK- then yes, you were in fact at the same place. I asked them when they opened the first time I was there - about a month ago, and they said about 8 weeks before, so I didn't realize they were open in December. We were traveling most of the winter months. I'm so happy you got to enjoy them too!!!

karen said...

Andrew- Rosolino (I may have spelled this wrong, perhaps it's Rosalino, looks more like dandelion than anything else. Definitely not cabbage family. Mike saw it the other day at the Rialto market also. Now I must stop at a vendor and ask for some cooking tips!