Dear Hande Theo, Marlene, John and Mamma Parla, please accept my formal apology for rousing you from bed this morning to join me at the comically awful Mercato della Terra. Your time is too precious to waste at this new Slow Food Market, which is stategically positioned in Culonia, the informal nickname for this sad parking lot in the armpit of EUR.

I know your expectations of a Slow Food event (especially in Rome!) were extremely low, which is why it was no surprise that the incorrect address was written on the website and we had to spend 20 minutes looking for the market. I know what you are thinking: Katie, you could have anticipated that they would have no practical signage. You should have warned us! In my defense, I hoped they had focused their attentions on gathering great local vendors. Instead, they provided additional access to commercially successful beer brands like ‘na birretta. Let me complete your thought: Katie, I can get their brews at my local supermarket, so why make me shlep to a depressing parking miles away from my warm bed?

Since I wasted the one day a week you have off from work, I hope I can redeem myself somehow…Would you accept out of season tomatoes from the Mercato della Terra? Split carrots? Flacid potatoes? What if I promised never to drag you to such an embarrassing excuse for a market again? Then would you forgive me?

Your friend/daughter, Katie Parla

Dear Slow Food Roma, you are clearly awful at organizing events. You may actually be doing more harm than good. Please consider visiting a relatively well-run market. Oh, I don’t know, maybe the Biomercato at the Citta’ dell’Altra Economia. Or even the Coldiretti markets all over town. For the inaugural Mercato della Terra, you scraped together just 20 vendors? Did you even try? This market could be a big deal. Get it together and quit squandering a precious opportunity to support local producers with selection, organization and proper signage!

Love, Katie Parla

PS. Who chose that godforsaken venue? It sucks.