Have you ever been to a grocery store in Italy?
Fare la spesa is the expression that means to do one’s grocery shopping. It is a very different experience from shopping in the U.S. where you may pick up a tomato to see if it feels ripe or raise a cantaloupe to your nose to appraise the scent. In Italy it is frowned upon to touch the fresh produce. In fact, thin plastic gloves (guanti) are provided to ensure that this does not happen.
And if that was not daunting enough, you take your carefully selected produce to a scale where you look for the corresponding picture and insert the number associated with that picture into the screen to obtain a price.
When you are ready to check out you are well advised to bring your own bags (buste). If not you will be charged for the plastic bag and may receive a look indicating that you have made a ‘brutta figura’ ( bad impression)
If this does not appeal to you then stop by your local fruttivendolo (green grocer) where you are handed a wicker basket when you enter the shop to fill with your produce.
Sniff and squeeze to your heart’s content.