We love Italy for one reason and one reason only: the food! As soon as we have finish that last morsel of food from the current meal we start to think about what we will eat next. Who could think that such simple food could taste so good. It’s only when you eat pasta in Italy you realise how us Brits have got it so wrong all these years.
Our four day trip to Amalfi Coast to any other well seasoned traveler would have been excessive on this cliff side town but we were eating our way through the village rather than site seeing. Home of the limoncello every meal ended with this heavenly liqueur. Yet it goes without saying the liqueur was definitely more taut than the ones served in Rome or home in fact. Lovely stuff, a great palette cleanser. The limoncello is made locally and you can’t go without noticing that lemons are sold everywhere, big and juicy.
Every lunch we would have our favourite Caprese salad. Such a simple entree of juicy tomatoes, mozzarella which is made locally, basil and a drizzle of olive oil. Never have we tasted mozzarella so milky and tender than we have in Amalfi Coast, the cheese practically melts in your mouth a complete contrast to what we are used to.
Elena and I make a packed on most holidays to order dishes and share, I know, I know, Elena doesn’t share but to be able to taste more dishes it was more logistical. However, any other day if you tried to take something from her plate the Russian would brake your arm off and beat you with it.
Being in Amalfi we were in seafood heaven being a step away from the ocean so for every meal we would order at least one seafood pasta. For the winter season most seafood dishes had an abundance of: prawns (large and juicy), muscles (lots of meat) and clams (small bit good). Each restaurant serving them with a different type of pasta and a slightly different sauce so we could never get bored of it. The pasta in Italy is amazing, so tender and fresh and the strangest thing is that it actually has its own flavour unlike the loveless stuff you get in your local supermarket. One place worth mentioning is a lovely local restaurant near the church in the piazza called Da Maria Trattoria Pizzeria. We fell in love with this place on the first night with its rustic charm and its generous portion sizes. The focaccia bread and olive oil are there before you have sat down. It is warm and moist with the flavour of sea salt, Rosemary and Virgin oil. Yum, just something to nibble on while you chose your dishes.
Now even though we had already decided years ago that the best pizza in the world was in Rome, the pizza in Amalfi has to take second place. Thin, light and crispy with hearty portions of toppings that have not been over cooked but still have a healthy bite to them. Our favourite pizza spot was called La Tagliata, a beautiful outdoor dining area at the edge of the cliffs looking out onto the ocean.
Pasticerria Andrea Pansa is the place pastry dreams are made. Everyday at 5pm when lunch had disappeared from our stomachs and the ache of hunger was stepping in we would walk down to the piazza and have a cappuccino and something sweet. The Pansa is said to a century old and the interior is a credit to the romanticism era. Each pastry and cake is light, airy and full of fresh cream. Definitely a place to sooth that sweet tooth.
If you are not into cakes and pastry why not sample the gelato, not as fattening as ice cream (like we care) and far more fruity. My personal favourite was pineapple and Elena was a firm support of melon.
This is a place to really indulge yourself if you have a love of food. Fresh ingredients and I must emphasis the sheer simplicity of the food here is amazing. We love Italy for its food and we most definitely will be returning to sample the delights of another one of its cities or villages soon.