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  • Writer's pictureKaren Seiger

Mercato Notturno Brings A Taste of Bologna to Union Square Greenmarket

Press Release: I am very excited to let you know about the Mercato Notturno, or Night Market event this Friday at the Union Square Greenmarket featuring the food of Bologna, Italy. I spent my first year of graduate school in Bologna. It is a town traditionally known for its splendid food in a country known for its splendid food. Let’s just say I gained 25 lbs. that year, happily munching on totelloni, tortellini and gelato. So mark your calendar and stop by Union Square on your way to your weekend. ~ Karen Seiger, Markets of New York City

Market Shopping in Bologna (Source:

Market Shopping in Bologna (Source:

Mercato Notturno at the Union Square Greenmarket: Tasting Italian History

New York, NY— On Friday, October 10th, from 4-8 pm, GrowNYC’s Union Square Greenmarket will partner with the City of Bologna’s City of Food project and Taste NY to celebrate our two cities as capitals of food and sustainability at one of Union Square’s newly inducted Night Markets. This event is a celebration of Italian culinary history, with dishes made from local ingredients and the small farms and artisans who grow and make those products. We’re thrilled to welcome our guests from Bologna, as well as the American delegation tasked with creating the USA Pavilion at next year’s World’s Fair in Milan who are gearing up to present “American Food 2.0.” Through these partnerships, we can collectively talk about feeding the world using sustainable practices.

“Our partnership with GrowNYC stands as a collaboration which is very important to us,” said Matteo Leopre, Deputy Mayor of City Economic Development, Tourism, International Affairs and Digital Agenda for the City of Bologna. “Bologna is a city of sustainable and responsible food consumption, urban gardens, the Farmers Market, Trade Fair, and networks of welfare for food collection and distribution. The key to excellence in promoting the city of Bologna and its territory lies in its modern, dynamic and competitive system – and building up these cornerstones that aim to develop City of Food. We want to show New Yorkers that Bologna is the obvious choice in Italy for lovers of quality food and sustainable initiatives.”

Mercato Notturno (“night market” in Italian) will feature Italian and New York-based restaurants and visitors will enjoy the rare chance to shop at a nighttime farmers market while eating seasonally inspired dishes served by these restaurants and food artisans. In addition, a special beer garden on the north end of Union Square will serve local libations, including Greenmarket Wheat, alongside live music provided by The Jazz Foundation.

“GrowNYC, the City of Bologna and CAAB have much to offer one another concerning leadership around food and sustainability,” said Marcel Van Ooyen, Executive Director of GrowNYC. “We look forward to working with these groups to continue to develop creative solutions to improve the quality of life in our respective cities. Just like Italian food made with Greenmarket ingredients, we can think of no better pairing than New York City and Bologna working together on these issues.”

Mercato Notturno is free and open to the public, rain or shine, and co-sponsored by the Manhattan Borough President’s Office and the Union Square Partnership. Attendees will be able to purchase tickets to redeem for tastes at individual tents and for beverages in the beer garden.

“Mercato Notturno will bring the agricultural heritage of Bologna and the economic potential of the dell ‘Emilia Romagna, the number one region for agri-food exports in Italy, across the world to New York City,” said Andrea Segré, President of CAAB. “The “City of Food is Bologna” is proud to partner with GrowNYC’s Union Square Greenmarket to promote the rich food history of Italy in one of the culinary capitals of the United States. As part of the partnership with GrowNYC and the project with Eataly, CAAB will be launching an International Sustainability & Food Award 2015 to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable agriculture and healthy food. Included on the jury will be experts from GrowNYC, with the prize being awarded for the first time during the 2015 Food Expo in Milan.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “It’s an honor to have Taste NY products on display at an event like Mercato Notturno at the Union Square Greenmarket. As the nation’s largest network of farmers’ markets, this an excellent opportunity for everyone to see Taste NY’s world-class products made by local vendors.”

Manhattan Borough President, Gale Brewer said, “As a City Council member and now as Borough President I have worked with local farms and NYC agencies to bring local goods to our seniors, schools, and workers and I look forward to sharing ideas with cities from around Italy. I am excited to partner with Grow NYC, City of Bologna’s City of Food project, and Taste NY for the Mercato Notturno at the Union Square Greenmarket that celebrates sustainability, growth of local markets, and support of small business oriented artisans.”

Dorothy Cann Hamilton, President of the USA Pavilion – American Food 2.0 at the Expo Milano 2015, said, “A night of Italy in New York….we are looking forward to our night of New York in Italy at the USA Pavilion at the World’s Fair in Milano next summer. Let the spirit of sustainable, fresh and delicious food be our common bond with the world!”

Mitchell Davis, Chief Creative Officer of the USA Pavilion – American Food 2.0 at the Expo Milano 2015, said, “As we get ready to bring American Food 2.0 to Expo Milano 2015, we are excited to share the bounty of the NYC Greenmarkets and NYC chefs with our Italian colleagues and friends. There is a perception abroad that all we eat is hamburgers and food out of boxes…oh…and spaghetti and meatballs. We are excited to show how much the American food scene has evolved.”

Mercato Notturno: Tasting Italian History Union Square Greenmarket 17th Street & Union Square West Friday, October 10th, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Free and Open to the Public, tickets for tastes available at the event

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