Neapolitans claim to have invented ice cream; whether they did or not, they sure make it well! See the gelato page
for a list of good gelaterie.
Italy and Campania have a wide variety of great wines; some of them are described and reviewed on the wine page
Naples is the birthplace of the pizza, and thus is famed to have the best in the world.
The following are other specialties of Naples and the surrounding region (Campania):
- Sfogliatelle (a flaky pastry filled with sweet riccotta served riccia with flaky puff pastry or frolla with shortcrust dough...
- Babà (a spongy pastry in the shape of a mushroom soaked in rum...
- Recommended pastry shops:
- Attanasio's near Piazza Garibaldi is known for its sfogliatella (vico Ferrovia 1, 081-285-675, 6:30 AM-7:30 PM, closed Mon, www.sfogliatellecalde.com), see this page for more
- Pintauro, near Galleria Umberto (via Toledo 275, 081-517-339, www.pintauro.it), which invented sfogliatella--few things are better than their riccia fresh out of the oven.
- Scaturchio, a fancy pasticceria on Spaccanapoli in the Centro Storico (PIazza San Domenico Maggiore 19, 081-551-6944, www.scaturchio.it) is famous for having excellent pastries incliuding babà. (Note: there is another Scaturchio, founded by the famous one's brother Pasquale, in Pignasecca, which is also not bad.)
- Mary's (a branch is in Galeria Umberto and on Spaccanapoli)
- if you like Sicilian pastries (such as cannoli) check out Dolcezze Siciliane at the port (Immacolatella Vecchia, 081-552-1900)
- Also see the Pozzuoli page for other recommended pastry shops
- Espresso caffè (coffee) is a specialty in Naples, and many coffee-holics swear that it's the best in the world.
- Among the best places is Caffè Mexico, which has nothing to do with Mexico, but which brews up wonderful, local Passalaqua beans. Caffè Mexico can be found in Piazza Dante, Piazza Garibaldi, on Via Toledo, and a few other locations throughout the city.
- Also check out the Pozzuoli page for good caffè there (such as Dolci Momenti, or Tivoli Caffe on the Lungomare [boardwalk])
- See the Italian culture page for how to order caffè.
Mozzarella di Buffala
- Fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, more liquid than solid, is a regional specialty, especially in the areas near Caserta and Paestum.
- Some of the most prized mozzarella is from Tenuta Vannulo near Paestum, an all-organic producer which only sells on the premises
- The best mozzarella can be eaten alone, but is also excellent with tomatoes & basil in an insalata carpese (Capri-style salad), or with prosciutto or melon.
- Fior di latte is a similar cheese made from cow's milk, which is less creamy, although as a result some argue that it therefore makes better pizzas.
- A strong but sweet after-dinner digestivo (digestive) produced from the peels of local lemons.
- Limoncello is particularly popular--and some of the best limoncello comes from--Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, and the islands (Ischia, Capri, and Procida).
- Some of the best places to sample are at Jasmine's Bottecuccia in Sorrento and Limonè downtown.
- Also made in a 'cream' variation, as well as with other fruits. Here's a basic strawberry cream version recipe:
- 700 mL grain alcohol
- 2-3pints of strawberries
- 1 carton Parmalat Interno long-life milk
- 4.5 cups sugar
- 1 package vanilla powder (not vanilla extract, this stuff is only available in Italian markets)
- Soak the chopped strawberries in the alcohol for a week (no need to keep cold)
- After a week, put the remaining ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until all the sugar has disolved.
- Strain the alcohol/strawberry mixture to remove all fruit debris & combine with the milk mixture.
- Chill overnight. Serve cold.
Various parts of Campania are known for certain kinds of produce. San Marzano tomatoes (near Vesuvius), Sorrento/Amalfi/Island lemons (and limoncello), Friarielle
(broccoli greens, which taste a bit like collard greens--a local favorite), Paestum artichokes... See food words
for a list of what you might find at the market.
...range from big hypermarkets to tiny stores. See the shopping page
###link to recipes for limoncello, insalata caprese, bruschetta...###