It would be doing Peck a disservice to call it a food store.

Better to quote Lonely Planet which calls it one of Europe’s most prestigious gourmet food outlets.

Nearly three weeks after we visited Milan’s gastronomic paradise my mouth still waters at the memory of the quantity and quality of produce on display.

We gazed in eye-widened wonder at the variety of cheese – they sell more than 3000 varieties of parmigiano reggiano; fruit from every corner of the world amongst which was New Zealand kiwifruit; pasta, fresh and dried, with an amazing array of sauces and seasonings to serve with it; fresh sea food and meat; a tea bar; ice cream and a wine cellar which boasted the best in the world, and that too included a few bottles from New Zealand. . .

We lunched in the cafe on the first floor – five star service, five star plus food at very reasonable prices.

I chose the ravioli for which Peck is justifiably renowned. It was stuffed with ricotta and spinach, cooked to perfection and tasted sensational.

Amazing as all that was, the display which stood out for us was the meat among which was a lamb rack selling for an eye-watering 85 euro a kilo.

The butcher told us it was French. Imagine what it would do for the economy if New Zealand lamb could attract that sort of premium.



It pays to look down


In Milan, as in many older cities it pays not just to look up, but also to look down.

The floor of the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele is decorated by intricate mosaics.

Among them is this one.


Legend suggests rubbing your heel on the bull’s testicles will bring luck.

So many people have done so they’ve hollowed out a hole in the mosaic.

The most expensive vegetables in the world


The Galleria Vittoria Emanuele which goes off Milan’s Duomo Plaza has a lot to recommend it including its architecture and cafes.

But if you’re dining at one of the latter, do be careful about the prices.

We eat a lot of vegetables at home and when we travel often feel a vitamin deprived so when I saw grilled vegetables on the menu I ordered them to accompany my pasta.

They arrived, artfully arranged: two slivers of zucchini, two strips of pepper, one slice of aubergine and a wee bit of fennel.

More just a very expensive garnish than a plate of vegetables –  the dish cost 10 euro which is about $NZ23.


Intermittent transmission


My farmer and I are away for a sunshine fix which may result in posts at odd times and a reduction in posting.

It was trying to snow at home yesterday.

We’re expecting it to be a little warmer where we’re going:  a night in Singapore, two in Barcelona then back to Vejer de la Frontera where we spent three months in 2005 before meeting friends for a walking tour which starts in Milan and finishes in Verona.

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