Trust me, it’s quite normal to lust after the thought of lemons made into limoncello or gelato as the spring grudgingly lets us Californians in on a little sunshine and warmth.
Those bad boys over there to the left are stacked up at Casa Scola, an agriturismo in the hills above Naples with spectacular views over Vesuvius. You should at least eat there. The chef is young and ambitious. He’s also one of those Campania masters of cuisine you’d hear about if there weren’t so many of them laboring in out of the way places. Good food is merely normal in Campania.
Making limoncello from these babies is darn easy. Essentially you macerate some lemon peels in pure alcohol. Add sugar. Basta. You’re done.
Take a look at Marsala Mia’s Limoncello which you swear could light up a closet for years with its intense day-glow yellow color, or for long as you weren’t inclined to sip your mood lighting. I would. There’s a recipe. Use it and prosper. This is the Sicilian version of limoncello.
(Marsala Mia also mentions—and has pictures of—the cedro, which is related to the French citron, my favorite glace when I’m in France.)
The best place for limoncello is agreed by self-proclaimed experts to be Sorrento. And you’d be hard pressed to beat I Giardini di Cataldo’s limoncello (or the sublime Liquore di Liquirizia, a great way to keep that licorice from sticking to your teeth.)
Yes, I do yearn for the Amalfi coast these warming days—the stark spring sunshine lighting up the whitewashed buildings along the coast.
I am not a fan of the heat, yet think fondly of the man reaching into the ice cream freezer and yanking out a bottle of frozen limoncello, which flows as grudgingly as cold 10w-40 motor oil into a tiny fluted glass held daintily in his sausage fingers.
Italy is but a mere 2 weeks away. I can taste its bitter sweetness on my tongue.