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Campania in tavola

Running along the gulf of Naples and Sorrento, Campania is home to picturesque towns and strong cultural traditions. The food of Campania is based on inexpensive ingredients, like pasta, herbs, vegetables and the fish – when it is comes time to splurge.

The Land

The beauty of Campania has always caught the attention of artists and poets. During the times of the ancient Greeks, Campania was home to Homer’s sirens. Later, during the Roman period, the region was a hot spot among the rich, who built breathtaking villas along the coast.

The names of some of Italy’s most beautiful towns are located here: Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, the islands Ischia, Procida, Capri, and Nisida – all pearls on the necklace that adorns the Amalfi Coast. Then, there are Pompei and Ercolano, the ancient cities buried by a volcano.  Both cities are still fairly intact, allowing you to walk along the ruins and get to know ancient Campania.

Naples, with its postcard perfect landscape, has always been associated with music and folk songs. Music was, and still is, everywhere, from the streets to the noble palaces. Traditions are kept alive in this region.  Although foreign kings have controlled Campania, it has always had a unique personality, both lively and melancholic at the same time.

The Food

The regional cuisine is a mix of the people’s food, the food of the masses, and aristocratic touches passed down by the various rulers. Campania is known throughout the world for its Pizza and Pasta, which have become Italian national symbols. Wheat grows well here, thanks to the geography and climate, and is used to make dried pasta, especially long noodles like vermicelli, spaghetti, and bucatini. Originally, pasta was tossed with black pepper and cheese, but ever since the arrival of the tomato, people in Campania have been using it to make sauces.

Tomatoes are often let to dry in the sun and then canned to be used year round. Ragu’ alla napoletana is a special tomato sauce that is served on special occasions, due to its time-consuming preparation.

For a long time, Campania was a poor region and people cooked using inexpensive ingredients. Soups made with wild herbs basically sustained a large part of the population. Rice is used to make the classic Sartù, a molded rice dish, with a filling, rich in ingredients and flavors.

Like all the Italian costal regions, Campania has its focaccia. You will find it drizzled with oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Some believe that focaccia gave birth to pizza. With the addition of tomatoes and buffalo’s milk mozzarella, which dates back to the time of the Lombards, pizza became what we know it today. In addition to mozzarella, other cheeses from Campania include Scamorza Irpina, smoked Provola, and Fior di Latte from Sorrento.

Fish and seafood are the kings of the table and are found in pastas, soups, fried, stewed, grilled and baked in paper, or cartoccio. Although the regional cuisine is based heavily on seafood, you can still find remarkable cured meats, like Capocollo from the Nola area, Cervellatine from Naples and Soppressa Irpina. The rich, fertile soil is great for cultivating fruits and vegetables.

Campania is known for its citrus and summer fruits, like white melons, almonds, walnuts from Sorrento and San Marzano tomatoes.

Campania also has a rich pastry-making history. Some of the regional favorites are Pastiera, a Neopolitan cheese tart; Babà, a rum-soaked sponge cake; and [[Sfogliatelle, a cream-filled, shell-shaped pastry.

The most well known regional wine is Falerno, which was famous even during the Roman Empire. Lacrima Christi is also made here from grapes grown in the rich, volcanic soil.

Some traditional recipes of Campania

Caprese with sauteed vegetables with thyme
Various fresh ingredients for a typical Italian cheese-salad. It can be served as a cold hors-d’oeuvre or a main dish.

Neapolitan-style lasagne
A particularly rich and tasty first course.

Pizza Margherita
Based on the simplest ingredients, a real triumph of Italian cuisine. The Chefs from Academia Barilla present the typical recipe from Naples.

Capri Chocolate Cake
All chocolate and almond flavor

History and Gastronomy

Antonio De Curtis - Totò
He was known for his floppy puppet movements, expressive face, and comedic phrases that have entered into day-to-day speech.

Enrico Caruso
Enrico was a loved performer, especially abroad, and was considered the greatest tenor of all times.