The Amalfitan It is the table of the fishing fox!
The Volpe Pescatrice (fishing fox) graven on the bell tower of the mother church of Positano is the extraordinary symbolic synthesis of the soul of whoever lives on the Amalfi Coast…as well as the cuisine. Like the fox, earthy animal par excellence, who driven by hunger goes down to the shore, the ancient Amalfitans, born in the mountains of Scala ventured down to the sea to trade, rather than from a spirit of adventure.
The result is a cuisine that combines the smells of earth and sea, tied to the different seasons, which over the centuries has created a spectacular variety of dishes, with them being an irresistible attraction for anyone visiting the area.
Vietri sul Mare boasts its Sciurilli (pumpkin flower) Risotto, while Cetara is famous for filleted tuna, preserved in oil, alla “Genovese”, as well as cured (tuna salami) and the Colatura di Alici di Cetara Dop (anchovies sauce), ancient seasoning, great for flavouring vegetables and macaroni.
In Maiori, there is fragrant Lemon salad with oil, vinegar and mint, as well as the curious Aubergines covered in chocolate, typical of the Feast of the Assumption, and Sospiri tricks, here renamed “zizza e’ monache”.
Minori is historically the town of pasta (homemade with durum wheat that does not need any eggs) in classic shapes: Fusilli, Scialatielli, Gnocchi and ‘Ndundari with ricotta.
Tramonti is the home of the fruits of the forest and pastures: mushrooms, farro, chestnuts, wild game, including roast wild boar, mozzarella and goat cheeses and the inimitable Pizza di Tramonti diffused by the inhabitants of Tramonti worldwide.
Typical specialties from Ravello are made from pumpkin and courgettes, the superiority of the latter being contended with Pogerola, a small hamlet in Amalfi.
The neighbouring Scala offers numerous specialties, both sweet and savoury, made with chestnuts.
On the table of Amalfi, lemon specialties triumph – risotto, linguine, cakes, delicacies and zest – made with Amalfi Coast IGP Lemons, scialatielli, cheese crespoline and Pezzogna all’acqua pazza.
In Atrani, there is Sarchiapone, green pumpkin stuffed with minced veal and pork, buffalo mozzarella and tomato sauce, and cherry Pasticciotto triks.
In Conca dei Marini, in the early 1700s, the nuns of the Convent of Santa Rosa created the mythical pastry shaped like a monk’s hood, the Sfogliatella Santa Rosa, set to become the symbol of Amalfi confectionery. The absolute best are spaghetti with rockfish tomato sauce, creel shrimp stir-fried with salt and pepper, or Rabbit cooked according to Conca’s tradition, cut up, browned, wrapped in lemon leaves and baked.
In this area, the use of folium volvere (wrapping in leaves) can be found in other specialties, particularly in so-called Follovielli: green dumplings containing raisins and candied fruit.
In Furore Squids with potatoes are a symbolic dish along with Cavatelli with capers, Ricci Furitani and Caponata typical of ancient roman’s taverns. In the “town that is not”, it is also possible to taste the fragrant Cicale, cakes made from almond paste.
Cannaruncielli pasta and squids and Migliaccio (pasta pie) from Praiano.
Sautéed Seafood and Octopus bolognese from Positano complete this delicious description.
It is worth recalling that, in the highlands of the Divina – Tramonti, Scala, Agerola – both very high quality cow and goat milk is produced, thanks to the fragrance of the fodder of these steep crags that head down towards the sea. As early as the second century B. C., the Roman physician Galen praised its goodness and abundance, so much so as to fuel the legend of the channels built on the mountainside and used to transfer the precious liquid downhill. The fable faded over time but the quality of the products remains, especially in the Fiordilatte (mozzarella), Provolone del Monaco DOP and Pecorino from the wild pastures.
The wines of the Amalfi Coast have to be tried, awarded the Costa d’Amalfi DOC, the vineyards distributed on the hillsides – between 200 and 500 m from Tramonti to Ravello and Furore – are now an integral part of the coastal landscape as well as the table…S. Nicola, Ianestella, Bianca Zita, Pier ‘è Palummo, Tronto and Tintore grapes…all making excellent wines: delightful whites with a delicate bouquet. It is also worth mentioning that the white Fiorduva of Marisa Cuomo in Furore is one of the Italian white wines of excellence (and therefore the world); flattering and lively Rosè; dry and full-bodied reds, above all Aglianico, called here “pier’ palummo” and Tintore, exclusive to Tramonti, “capable of putting into you all the sun and fun you have on your skin…” L. Veronelli
This is followed by the cakes and pastries: in addition to the already mentioned Pasticciotto and Bocconotto of Atrani, the Sfogliatella Santa Rosa, Aubergines covered in chocolate and Maiori Sospiri, it is also worth trying Pizza Roce (sweet pizza), made with a puff pastry which wraps a filling of fresh fruit, mixed with custard; Code d’Aragosta filled with lemon custard; Lemon cake, or the Delizie or Baba, with lemon; delicate Ricotta cheese and pear cake, sorbets …
and finally the exclusive liquers of the Coast: Nanassino, Concierto, Laurino, Elisir di Janare...and the famous Limoncello of the Amalfi Coast!
The stories and recipes of the Amalfi Coast can be found in the book:
The Amalfi Coast to Taste
…tales of love and flavours