Typical products of the Amalfi Coast
In addition to its enchanting beaches, crystal clear sea and natural beauty, the Amalfi Coast is also famous for its rich food and wine tradition, which is based on exceptional typical products obtained thanks to its optimal climate, the beneficial influence of the sea and the characteristic man-made terraces.
What are the most representative typical products of the Amalfi Coast? Let’s discover them together!
The Amalfi Coast Lemon PGI
The most famous is undoubtedly the Limone Costa d’Amalfi PGI, also known as Sfusato Amalfitano due to its tapered shape. It is grown on the terraces along the steep slopes of the coast and is among the varieties richest in vitamin C (as recent studies by the University of Naples Federico II have shown). Due to its intense aroma, thick skin, juicy and semi-sweet pulp and the almost absence of seeds, it is widely used in cooking. There is no dish that cannot be embellished with its juice, its pulp or its zest. Its use is also very wide in pastry making. But it owes its fame above all to limoncello, the popular sweet liqueur obtained from lemon peels macerated in pure alcohol.
The Re Umberto Tomato
The Re Umberto Tomato, also known by the name Fiascone, is an ancient variety of tomato dating back to the 19th century and which over the years has been disappearing to the point of becoming almost impossible to find. It was thanks to the perseverance of some farmers that this product was brought back to life. Its place of choice is the municipality of Tramonti, where the most important oral testimonies regarding its presence in the area are found. It was named as a tribute to the King of Italy who visited Naples in 1878. It is an excellent variety of tomato for sauce and preserves. It gave rise to the San Marzano tomato, which is none other than the result of crossing King Umberto with another variety of tomato.
Among the typical products of the Amalfi Coast we could not fail to mention the ndunderi of Minori, a sort of fresh gnocchi traditionally served on the occasion of the celebrations of Santa Trofimena (patron saint of the town). Their history is very ancient. In fact, it seems that they are a variant of the “Latin balls” of Roman origin. The ingredients of the original recipe were spelled flour mixed with milk curdled with wild fig latex. The current recipe, however, includes a mixture of flour and ricotta, replacing curdled milk. The preferred condiment for ndunderi is meat sauce but they can be combined with any type of sauce.
Scilatielli are another type of pasta typical of the Amalfi Coast. Their shape resembles a fusilli, but shorter and more flattened. They are handmade with flour, milk, eggs, basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt, fresh pepper and grated pecorino. They were invented by the Amalfi chef Enrico Cosentino, who in 1978 presented them at a culinary competition in Calabria, winning the “Entremetier” award of the year. Despite being recently created, they have fully entered the category of traditional specialties. The name seems to derive from the union of two Campania dialect terms: “scialare” (enjoy) and “tiella” (pot). They are usually topped with pink seafood from a few cherry tomatoes.
Cetara Anchovy Colatura
Another typical product of the Amalfi Coast is Cetara Anchovy Colatura, a sauce with a very intense flavor obtained from the fermentation of salted anchovies. Its origins are very ancient. It is said to descend from garum, a sauce that Apicius, the famous gastronome of ancient Rome, added as a condiment to many dishes. The secret to making it is hidden in the ancient and complex production techniques which, over the years, have remained intact. It is used to season spaghetti but can also be used to flavour, instead of salt, fresh or boiled vegetables and some fish dishes. Traditionally considered a poor food, today it is a highly sought after condiment and appreciated at all levels.
Costa d’Amalfi DOC wines
The grapes for the production of Costa d’Amalfi DOC wines, among the best known and most requested in the region, are grown in the vineyards of the Amalfi hills. These are grapes linked to the territory, often even indigenous. The climatic conditions of the coast are particularly suitable for the cultivation of wine grapes, as can be understood from the millenary cultivations, which over time have never stopped producing fine wines. The Amalfi Coast Controlled Designation of Origin includes red, white and rosé wines produced throughout the coastal area, from Vietri to Positano, but the most commonly known area is that of the three sub-areas of Furore, Ravello and Tramonti.
And last, but not least, the Concerto, a digestive liqueur based on aromatic herbs and spices with a unique and unmistakable taste. Every sip is a pleasant discovery as if it were always the first time you drink it. Its alcohol content is around 30° and it is one of the oldest liqueurs on the coast. It originates from a recipe born in the Royal Conservatory of Saints Giuseppe and Teresa, in the hamlet of Pucara in Tramonti. In addition to being enjoyed simply as is, it is also used to prepare sauces to accompany meat or to flavor desserts. For those who want to prepare it at home, it is possible to purchase the basic “dose” for the infusion in local herbalist shops and pharmacies.