Buying salt in Italy
It must be very obvious to those of you who live in Italy and are used to supermarket shopping, but for me, new to food-shopping in Italy, I was puzzled why I could not find ordinary salt anywhere on the shelves.We spent the first few short days in our newly purchased apartment last month and I was keen to make a start on cooking with local ingredients. The shopping went well, and I bought lots of lovely produce, BUT I could not find salt in the two supermarkets nearest to our flat.Allan told me in Italy salt was once a government monopoly, but it has now been removed from government price controls. He said the Tabacchi displays a sign with a big white "T" on a dark blue or black background and says "sali e tabacchi" which refers to two products that were controlled by the government, salt and tobacco. I did not have time on the last visit to try the Tabacchi, so please can someone tell me whether salt is still sold in the Tabacchi and if so - how? In packets? Is there a choice? What about in the supermarket, is it hidden away, or have the supermarkets been slow to stock up? **** Ten minutes later - OK OK I have just found out that this change happened 30 years ago! But this does not explain why I could not find salt on the shelves in the supermarket. We went round and round, but there was no sign of it. Where would it normally be displayed?**** Fifty minutes later - it wasn't just salt we couldn't find either. After completing the rogito (Friday 7.30 pm) and getting our keys, we went to the supermarket to stock up on a few necessities (stuff to make a nice cup of tea first off) and I felt pleased with myself that I remembered we would need matches to light the gas. Of course, you all know you can't get them in a supermarket. I didn't know that then. After doing a pantomime for the shop assistant, she produced some small cigarette lighters that we were able purchase to use to light the gas to make the first cup of tea in our new holiday home.