Day 2 (February 22, 2008) of our San Francisco adventure began more promisingly: bright sunshine greeted us as we made our way by public bus to Washington Square, the heart of San Francisco’s Italian North Beach neighbourhood. We set off to meet Tom Medin, who runs Local Tastes of the City Tours, who was going to take us around this neighbourhood and introduce us to all sorts of interesting culinary treats. Tom explained that San Francisco is a city for foodies – high quality fresh food plays an enormously important role in the locals’ lives. Shopping habits are very similar to the old European ways: people go shopping on foot in their local neighbourhoods and visit all sorts of specialty stores such as bakeries, pastry shops, vegetable stores, delicatessens, butcher shops and many more. Food is bought fresh almost every day, and a home-cooked leisurely dinner is an important part of the social agenda. Caf├ęs and coffee houses also thrive here. Our first stop was Caffe Roma where owner Toni Azzolini explained to us the coffee roasting process and had us taste some of his famous capuccino. Coffee is roasted freshly on site and their most popular blend includes four different coffee varieties from different countries, all purchased from small-scale farmers who don’t use pesticides or fertilizer. We then went to XOX Truffles where we saw the truffle-making process in action. The owner Jean-Marc Gorce graciously equipped us with a little paper bag full of some these French

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