Copenhagen is one of the most colourful cities I have seen in Europe. It has a beautiful harbour and vibrant city centre with enough shops to keep you occupied for a day and more. For the first time in my life I actually followed a map, not Google map mind you, but a real map with directions written on it. It was an amazing experience and for once I did not get lost. If you were reading my previous posts, you will know that I’m find myself lost on more occasions than I care to remember.
I was strolling through Pedestrian Street gaping at shops and people that crowded them. Then look at the map to make sure I know where I was going and continue to stroll. This was when I saw Italian vendors setting up shops at the City Centre. There were close to 13 shops that sold food, handmade jewellery and clothes.
I stopped by the handmade jewellery shop to just look at what they are selling. As a rule I do not buy from these shop, especially when I’m on budget, as I feel they are expensive. But it was different this time. The range of chain, bracelet and ring displayed were so pretty that I could not help but try one or two. The girl who was manning the shop said, “Look and try as much as you want. Just call me if you need.” I took the liberty to look and try few rings, multiplayer pearl chains and bracelets. They were lovely.
She must have noticed my struggle trying to clasp the bracelet over my thin arms, for she came just when I was trying them on.
“Do you like it?” she asked. “I do. Can you help me put them on?” I asked her.
She helped me put on not one but three since I could not decide on the colour. “I will ask the master designer to decide. You can never go wrong with his choice?” she winked.
“How is it made?” I asked her. Valentina, the same girl who was helping me out, said, “It is made using a method called macrame.” Macrame is an art of knotting string in patterns to make decorative articles.
By this time the master designer, a man in his late thirties with a beard and slight bald, came and looked at my arms. “Hmm. I think you should go with black. It suits you best,” he told me. I did not think twice and brought it for 85 Danish Krona.
After the transaction, I wanted to know more was why were Italians setting up shops in Denmark. “We bring spring to Denmark,” Valentina chuckled. “On a serious note, we run a jewellery shop in north Italy year around and come to Denmark to set up a shop for 10 days every year,” she said. The entire group of Italians from different parts of Italy, North and South, came here on March 30 and will run the shop for next 10 days.
After jewellery food was next to attract my attention. But the challenge here was none of the Italians could speak English and I had a hard time communicating with them. So I just settled for a look around the shops. There were three street food shops and a pickle and bread shop. Though street food of Palermo Sicily were famous they did not have much takers due to high price. But it does not hurt to look at them does it?
The street food vendor Quello di Palermo offered Pani ca Meusa, which is bread with a spleen filling, Arancine (deep-fried stuffed rice ball), Caponata (cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar), Sarde a beccafico (Sicilian stuffed sardines) and Panelle (Sicilian chickpea fritters) and fried sweet Sfincia di San Giuseppe.
There was a Sicilian sweet shop that sold traditional Italian sweets like Cassata and Cannoli. I wanted to try Cannoli, Italian pastries from Sicily. They are a crispy tube-wafer filled with sweet, creamy ricotta filling. They looked tempting enough to risk a tooth decay or two. But I picked a cannoli with a ricotta and chocolate filling that costs 50 Danish Krona. Before I could actually buy one, the cook there wanted me to try sample it. I did and did not like it for couple of reasons. One the the tube wafer was too thick and I did not think I would be able to finish the entire tube. Another reason was the filling had way too much sugar for my taste. So I gave the cannoli back, much to their regret.
Though I could taste anything, spending time around these shops I was able learn more about Sicily and its food culture. Looks I just added another place to the already long list of places I want to visit.