Excite Your Taste Buds

One of the many delights of international travel is sampling the local produce and cuisine and a visit to Naples is no exception. The rich volcanic soil and Mediterranean climate in the region foster the growth of gorgeous olives, tomatoes and the signature Sorrento lemons all of which should not be missed.

 

Lemons

The Femminello St. Teresa or Sorrento lemon is quite different from the bland and sharp varieties found supermarkets across the developed world. This lemon grows to a quite epic size and is much sweeter. Indeed the locals eat slices of the lemons with just a little sugar to savour their exquisite taste and a squeeze of the juice onto any fish results in an amazing dish.  With such wonderful fruit grown locally it is no surprise that there should be a lemon speciality in the region and your visit would not be complete without sampling Limoncello, a lemon liqueur produced all around the Gulf of Naples and the Sorrentine Peninsula. This drink is made to family recipes from soaking lemon zest in pure alcohol and adding sugar syrup. The liqueur is a vibrant yellow colour and brings a taste of sunshine into your life. With lemons being harvested year round the drink is in plentiful supply with many local shops selling the treat in a variety of ornate bottles.

Cheese

The region is also renowned for the production of mozzarella from the milk of water buffalo bred locally. The cheese is an absolute delight served with traditional cold meats or as a topping for pizzas. There is nothing quite like fresh mozzarella and you do have the opportunity to visit local farms to sample the cheese and purchase the freshest of supplies.

Pizza

 

The traditional Italian pizza was invented in Naples. The exact origins and development of the dish are unclear but flat breads have been part of the Mediterranean diet for centuries. What is known is that Pizza was essentially a sweet dish until the arrival of tomatoes from the Americas. These fruits were originally thought to be poisonous by the locals being part of the nightshade family but once their true nature was discovered there was no going back. Tomatoes thrive in the rich soils around Vesuvius and so Naples is a great place to find brilliant pizza topped with local fruit. There is a legend that the Margherita Pizza was created by Neapolitan Raffaele Esposito at the request of the Royal Palace of Capo Di Monte in honour of visiting Queen Margherita in 1889.  This story is now thought to be merely myth. However the dish came about it is a delicious combination of tomato, mozzarella and pesto producing a pizza in the colours of the Italian flag.

Souvenir

There is so much great food and drink in the Naples region that one unfortunate souvenir of your visit may be some extra weight around your middle! You may feel your jeans straining a little but it would be a mistake not to sample the delights on offer. Be careful with the Limoncello though, it is stronger than you think!