Lemons and Limoncello
From limoncello to the wines of Gragnano, the typical products of Sorrento and the Sorrento Peninsula are famous the world over. People do not flock to these places just for their cuisine and food products; the quality of the food is one of the reasons a stay in Sorrento, Vico Equense, Massa Lubrense and Piano di Sorrento is worthwhile.
In recent years, thanks to the worldwide success of limoncello, lemons have become a symbol of the Peninsula. A variety of lemons in relatively large sizes and oval-shaped are cultivated under straw matting. This straw protection shelters the plant and its fruits and also allows for late ripening, which increases their value. Strongly bitter lemons, rich in vitamin C, already appeared in the frescoes of Pompeii.
and Herculaneum, indicating that the area has been cultivated since Roman times. The lemons. The lemons of Sorrento differ from those of the Amalfi Coast: the Sfusato Amalfitano is of a different shape: pointy, elongated and spindle-shaped. It is also less bitter. Which one is better? Which one gave birth to the liqueur used in pizzerias around the world to round off a meal? No other drink comes close to rivalling it. However, the competition between the two beautiful stretches of the Campania coastline extends to the quality of their lemons and limoncello. For peace of mind, you have to try them both and then decide.
The Nuts of Sorrento
Another product from the Peninsula that has taken hold throughout Campania, where one may find the best of its productions: the walnut. Sorrento’s walnut was also documented in Roman times: carbonated walnut trees were found in areas devastated by the 79AD eruption, which plays witness to the antiquity of production. Today, the “Sorrento Walnut”, which is amongst the most precious, is cultivated more or less throughout the region but the one obtained from local sun-kissed trees remains the most valuable and tasty. Doctors and dieticians alike praise it for its antioxidant qualities: eat it frequently, albeit not in large quantities, but daily to guarantee benefits. Liqueurs are also produced from nuts; the nocino is excellent to round off a meal.
If it’s Not Gragnano, Stay Away
Speaking of alcohol, on the hills of the slopes on the Peninsula, wine has always been the most typical drink in Naples. Red wine is cultivated in Gragnano and Lettere, sparkling and light, always consumed at the inns and Neapolitan houses. Here, one recalls Totò’s words in the funniest film ‘Misery and Nobility’: “You taste it only if you can buy it in Gragnano, otherwise abstain”. Gragnano is also the capital of pasta, but on this subject, a completely different chapter is required.
The Tomatoes of Sorrento
Last on the list: tomatoes. Here, an original species is cultivated, the Sorrento tomato. Large and fleshy, well suited to salads, perhaps a Caprese with some mozzarella from the Lattari Mountains and a drizzle of olive oil. Oil is also produced in the beautiful hills overlooking the sea.
How should one use these products? Come to our restaurant, L’Accanto, where Chef Mimmo de Simone will show you how to creatively enhance these marvellous foods.