Lemon Trees at VILLA MARIA
Lemons on the Amalfi Coast? Yes Lemons. The Amalfi Coast of Italy besides being a major tourist destinations of the 21s Century as a result of its unending natural beauty, wonderful climate and tasty local food, combined with charming hotels, boat rids o Capri and all sorts of wonderful things. All this and the coast may very well be The Lemon Capital of the World, with thousands of Lemon Groves and farms dotted all over the coast from Sorrento to Salerno and every town in-between, this place is a Lemon Lovers Paradise with all sorts of Lemon based products from the head honcho lemon liquor known as Limoncello, to Lemon Scented Soaps, Lemon Parfum, Lemon Pasta, Lemon Desserts, Lemon Granita, Lemonade, Lemon Tea, and all sorts of Lemon Motif Scarves, Ceramics, T-Shirts, this-that-and-everything, yes the Amalfi Coast is a Lemon Paradis, so if you love lemons, this is the place to be.
The Lemons of the Amalfi Coast are known as Sfusato. They are big and knobby and prized for their perfume and sweet flesh. You can eat the whole thing, even the skin. Lemons are grown all along the Amalfi Coast and on the islands of Capri and Ischia, but Minori has always been known as he center of Lemon activity on the coast. The Sienenese Jesuit Botantist G.B. Ferrari was the first person to make a record of the qualities of the Lemons of this coast. In 1646 he wrote, “the nipple is prominent, the rind is rough, pleasantly scented with a sweet taste, the flesh has 8 or 9 segments, the taste is pleasantly sour.”
Much of the land between Positano and Vietri Sul Mare had been unproductive up to the middle of the 18th Century, but by the early 1800s lemon farming and trading had become quite productive with great cultivation of lemon groves in Minori, ALtrani, Amalfi, Conca dei Marini, Ravello,Cetara, Praiano, Maiori, Tramonti, and surround areas with Minori as the leading port for the transportation of Sfusato (Lemons).
It is a wonderful feeling to be among Oranges and Lemon Groves, to see them and just to know they are there. I for one get excited everytime I see lemons ad come upon any and every Lemon Grove I see, and Oranges too for that matter. Lemons are King are, but you come upon Ornge Groves as well, especially in and around Sorrento. And when dining out, it’s a good chance you will be eating all sorts of seafood, especially Cozze (Mussels) Vongole (Clams), Alici (Anchovies), (Shrimp), and all kinds of fish and shellfish in all sorts of asty preparations, your palate will be delighted. And besides the seafood of course you have to have those Lemons in some of culinary adventures, including the two leading forms of Limoncello and Granita along with Delizia al Limone and the famed pastry of the area Sfogliatelle which are a Clam-looking crunchy pastry filled with lemon scented ricotta cream, that’s divinely delicious and are not to be missed you are in the great city of Napoli or on the Devine Coast of Amalfi, for this is where they were first invented, created by Nuns o the COnvent of Santa Rosa in Conca dei Marini on the Amalfi Coast of Italy.
A couple of the best places to enjoy the local lemon Sfusato are two of Italy’s’ premier Pastry Shops that are on the coast. One is called Sal di Riso. Salvatore Riso is one of Italy’s premier Pastry Chefs and his Pasticceria Sal di Riso is World famous for Sal’s exquisite pastries, gelato, Lemon Cakes (recipe) and all sorts of sweets. There is the most famous pastry of all in the area as we have already mentioned the Sfogliatelle of which made theirs is made to absolute perfection. Sal di Riso makes several different Lemon types of Lemon Cakes and Tortas made with Lemons from Minori, as well as Lemon Gelato and Delizia di Limone (Lemon Delight) which is a cake that is soaked in Limoncello and covered with a lemon based cream. This delightful pastry as its name implies was created in Sorrento by Pastry Chef Carmine Marzuillo in 1978, and it’s served at Andrea di Riso and at most pastry shops in Naples, Sorrento, and on the Amalfi Coast, Italy.
Now the other great place enjoy the local Lemons of Amalfi in their sweetest forms is a most wonderful pastry shop in town of Amalfi. The place is at the very center of Amalfi, right in the Piazza del Duomo just feet from the beautiful Cathedral di Sant’Andrea. The place is Pasticceria Andrea Pansa and it is an absolute em of pastry shop / caffe. They have been there since 1830 and the place is absolutely gorgeous, and yes, they make many wonderful pastries, cakes, and cookies that are scented with, yes you guessed it, Lemons from The Amalfi Coast. You can have a Limonello here, Granita, Gelato, a Lemon Delight (Delizia di Limone), and of course the greatest pastry of them all, the Sfogliatelle Santa Rosa in several different forms. Grab yourself a seat at a table inside or out. Order as I might, a nice steamy Cappuccino accompanied by a crunchy Sfogliatelle and you shall be in 7th Heaven, “I guarantee.”
Now, when on the places to enjoy local lemons in food products and dish all around he Amalfi Coast, including Naples and the hugely popular destination of Sorrento. If you are in Sorrento, you absolutely have to go to the grand caffe in the heart of the town at the Piazza Tasso to the Bar Fuano, which if you were forced to pick a spot that was the epicenter and Heart Beat of Sorrento, it would have to be this place, Bar Fuano. Bar Fauno is a large grande caffe where you can everything that your heart may desire, from simply just an Espresso or Cappuccino, a Pizza or Panino, an Apertivo such as a Negroni or Aperol Spritz, you can have an Italian American or English Breakfast, Lunch, or dinner, it’s all here at Bar Fauno, including, yes; Limoncello, Sfogliatelle, Gelato, Lemon Delights, and Lemon Granita, whatever you like, they’ve got it at Bar Fauno, including a extensive wine list if you so desire more than a standard one, they have it here.
At our recent stay in Sorrento with our apartment directly across the street, my cousin Tony and I found ourselves at Bar Fauno about 7 times in three days. We absolutely loved the place, and what’s not to love? As I’ve already stated, “they have everything.” When we first got into own, driving in a car from Salerno, there’s a parking garage just down the street from the caffe. So we parked the car and headed towards Fauno. We sat down with a friend Alan who had joined us for a few days. Our waiter brought over the menu and wine list, and as we had been drinking Ferrari “Perle” the day befor and Tony loved it, he wanted to get a bottle, and we did. We ordered a Pizza and a Octopus Salad, “as I’ve said, they have everything.” We had a nice little lunch and then we checked into our suite. With the suite, came vouchers for us to have breakfast at Bar Fauno and we did for 3 days straight. We had a wonderful little breakfast that included; Cappuccino, fresh OJ, and a Cornetto. A wonderful little breakfast with very good service that you’ll always get at Bar Fauno.
You are in Sorrento, and this is a place they really go wild for Lemons and anything related to them as in a couple hundred different souvenirs you can buy, with a Lemon Motif upon them. You can get an apron, Spoon Holder, Citrus Juicer, a Key Chain, T-Shirt, Polo Shirt, and so many things with a Lemon on them. This is Sorrento, a place that gets millions of tourist from all around the world every year, and many of the businesses derive income from lemons in one way or the other, whether it’s from products made with lemons in them, such as Limoncello, Parfum, Pasta, Jams, Soap, or what-not, to items that simply have images of Lemons upon them, that’s Sorrento and a little story of Lemons on The Amalfi Coast. Basta!
Daniel Bellino Zwicke
Read About “LEMONS on The AMALFI COAST”
STORIES RECIPES & MORE
The AMALFI COAST COOKBOOK & TRAVEL
MEMORIES of ITALIAN FOOD
POSITANO AMALFI CAPRI
ROME VERONA NAPOLI
and More ..