5 must-eats from popular places in south Italy

Amalfi in South Italy / Pixabay

During my travel, I always search for local cuisine.  Local food is fresh, authentic and it helps in escalating the understanding of the place. It also gives me an opening to meet local people and to know their lifestyle.

This year, I was on the roads of South Italy. There, I got an opportunity to try various local specialties from the various regions. I am a great fan of Italian or in general, Mediterranean cuisine. I have included 5 must-eats from popular places in south Italy which I found unique to that region.

I hope, these recommendations will be helpful for you on your next trip.

Sorrento –

One of the most popular towns on the scenic drive along the Amalfi coast is Sorrento. The town is popular for beaches, scenic views, food and Mediterranean weather.

The popular liquor -Limoncello is served all around Sorrento and the Naples area. The interesting fact is that Sorrento has one orangery right in the city center where one can see the production, taste and buy this popular liquor and zesty lemonade.

Limoncello is popular due to its unique flavors and about 38-48% alcohol content. In non-alcohols, if sour is your taste, this lemonade is a right kick to your taste buds.

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Fresh tangy Lemonade in Sorrento orangery

One can visit their orangery, observe Limoncello preparations in the factory and at the end, relish on various lemon and orange flavors products like ice-creams, Limoncello, and the jerking lemonade.

Paestum –

Do you like cheese? Do you like cheesecake? Then you must read about this place.

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Ricotta cheesecake at cheese-farm

Paestum is a small village near Naples. The place is popular for buffalo farms and their mozzarella cheese. On our tour to one such farm, we learned that ricotta cheese is also produced at the same time of mozzarella preparation. Mozzarella is made from fats of the milk whereas ricotta is made from the whey produced during curdling of the milk.

For more information, check this video.

In the restaurant on their farm, we discovered a freshly baked ‘ricotta cheesecake’. I have had cheesecakes lots of times but never the Ricotta cheesecake. It was heavenly tasty. I just cannot describe it in words. It was smooth, creamy, fresh…. Ohh… it’s perfect! One need to taste it.

The recipe might be like any other cheesecake but the important element is fresh ricotta cheese. If you have it, maybe you can also enjoy this dessert at home.

Naples –

Because we are near Naples, tasting the cheesecake, let’s go to Naples also.

This is such a popular destination that one needs to write a separate article about it. I won’t cover all of its specialties but will mention only one, the less known delicacy – mulberry ice-cream.

You might know that Italian ice-cream is popular for its creamy texture and variety of flavors. One can find mulberry ice-cream in many places but the one here in Naples is unique.

The ‘Vesuvius mulberry ice-cream’ is quite exceptional that we won’t find the matching flavor anywhere else.

I tried it in the ice-cream shop on ‘Via Toledo’ here. Try this ice-cream and I am sure, you will thank me for the recommendation.

Ostuni –

Situated near the UNESCO World Heritage Site Matera, Ostuni is an ‘Olive town’ near Bari in Puglia region of Italy. There are stretches of olive farms spread all around the town. Giant olive oil producers have their refineries here.

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A vendor selling a variety of Olives in Ostuni

These vendors sell candied fruits slices also. These are sweet, chewy and refreshing. One can find all sorts of fruits like mango, kiwi, orange, papaya, melon etc. You just name the fruit.

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Fruit chips at a local market in Ostuni

 

I know, we can get such fruit ‘chips’ everywhere. I don’t want to underrate them but simply want to recommend these, when in Ostuni. I personally liked the quality and the variety they offer and also the cost is reasonable. Ostuni is a place to be explored on foot. These olives and fruit slices are good for small fill ups.

If you have sweet tooth, you can prepare candies fresh fruit slices at home by using this recipe.

Lecce –

Italy eats pizza, pasta, lasagna, ice-creams, tiramisu… We know Italian cuisine, right? Wait, …

Have you heard of ‘Caffé Shakerato? That’s just one name of Italian specialty coffees. There are 5-6unique types of coffees made across the various regions of Italy. I will focus on south Italy and especially on Lecce region in Puglia.

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Almond coffee

One more specialty from this region (south Italy) is ‘coffee slush’. This is ice coffee served as thick slush, with or without whipped cream. If you love cold coffee, give this a shot.

To sip a variety of cold coffee, in the roasting sun, is simply delightful, isn’t it? You might want to try this recipe.

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