As an immigrant from UK, I never cease to feel grateful for the quality and availability of fresh food here in Como. Maybe that abundance is mostly due to our proximity to the Milanese markets which in turn take advantage of the cultivation offered by the extraordinary altitudinal, latitudinal and climatic variations in Italy. Whatever the reason, let’s be thankful and celebrate what Como has on offer to fresh food fanatics.
The Mercato Coperto in Via Sirtori offers a great selection of fresh produce with stalls open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday but with some of the shops inside remaining open for the whole week.
There is a wide range of products on sale including fish and meat stalls, bakers, cheese and salumi as well as fruit and vegetables. It is colourful and lively and well worth a visit even if you are just passing through Como just to experience what food shopping should be about. One of its strengths is the range of stalls and the variety of price/quality options they represent.
Within the Mercato Coperto there is an entire section marked off for local producers some selling local specialities such as lake fish, missoltin and local cheeses whilst others sell locally grown fruit and vegetables or locally reared meat and poultry. Even though some of these producers may be organic, they are all scrupulously ecological having to be based within a defined kilometre range of the city.
Via Cinque Giornate
Via Cinque Giornate seems to be the ‘bio’ centre within Como’s old town. There may well be others with a bio offer but here within 20 metres of each other are two rigorously ‘bio’ establishments.
The first – ‘Le Golose Imperfezioni’ is primarily a bio bakery but with a range of economical and tasty options available for lunch or take away.
Just down the road is ‘La Fonte della Vita’ also with packaged products on sale alongside a range of lunchtime dishes on offer.
Or you may just want to ensure your mid-morning or after lunch coffee is organic. Both these cafes will provide organic coffee but you could also stroll down to the cafe at Piazza Mazzini, 16 where you may also be tempted by vegan dishes or pomegranate juices.
Out of town
Those looking for certified and fresh bio fruit and vegetables will have to venture outside of the walled centre and either visit the weekly Bio market held on Saturday mornings or make a trip to the shop run by the organisers of the market – the ‘La CortoBottega’ run by the Co-operative Association called Corto Circuito (who also seem to have the franchise for providing refreshments at a number of organised events in Como such as the current Parolario running at Villa Olmo).
The market is held on Saturdays from 08.00 to 12.30 in Via Salvadonica 3 which runs off of Via Varesina just after the Gloria Cinema. Here you will find bread, cheese, fruit, vegetables, honey and organic products from further afield such as organic wine and oil.
The CortoBottega is at the co-operative’s headquarters in Lipomo at Via Grassi 361. It is open on Tuesdays and Fridays only from 15.00 to 19.00. Corto Circuito can also organise weekly organic food baskets for collection or for delivery.
Whilst all supermarkets these days have organic sections, there are an increasing number of super or mini markets entirely devoted to organic products. This is my list of those I am aware of but please let me know of any others that I need to list:
- Mirtilla, Via Borsieri 21, Como
- Piacere Terra, Strada Statale dei Giovi 5, Casnate con Bernate
- NaturaSi, Via Pasquale Paoli 80, Como.