Some time ago, I wrote a post about shopping at a supermercato (grocery store). I hope you are ready for a few more tidbits.
In the earlier post, I explained how you, the customer (cliente), need to weigh and label fruit and vegetables by yourself. Before you start choosing any fruit or vegetable, you need not only to get a plastic bag, but also to don plastic gloves (guanti). Bags and gloves are usually located close to each other and also close to a bin where you can deposit the used gloves. The only tricky thing here is that the adhesive label with the bar-coded information tends to stick to the glove, so you may have to rescue it before proceeding with your next purchase.
When I was a kid, there was no supermercato and therefore, in order to fare la spesa, something I often did for my mother, especially when I was off from school, I had to visit several stores. Each store can be referred to either by its actual name or by the name of the owner, so we may say vado in panetteria or vado dal panettiere:
- panetteria / panettiere or fornaio (bakery / baker)
- macelleria / macellaio (butcher's shop / butcher)
- negozio di frutta e verdura / fruttivendolo (fruit and vegetable store / greengrocer)
- salumeria / salumiere (deli)
- pescheria / pescivendolo (fish store / fishmonger)
- pasticceria / pasticciere (pastry shop)
My favorite store to visit is a salumeria, especially when I am in Rome, where it is popularly called a pizzicheria, presided over by a pizzicagnolo. The smell in the store is divine and the arrangement of cheeses and cured meats is a work of art of balance and efficient use of space. When the salumeria is strategically placed next door to a panetteria, you have no way out: get some fresh bread, put some freshly sliced cured meat or cheese, or a mix of both in it, and enjoy your life then and there. When you are done, walk another few feet and get yourself un caffé.