Naples Food & Wine
Neapolitan cuisine is famous worldwide, and although pizza and pasta are the culinary symbols of Neapolitan cuisine, Naples (Napoli) is also known for its superb cheeses (including the famous mozzarella), its tasty fish and seafood dishes, and its delicious ice cream and pastries.
Naples (Napoli) is the home of pizza, sold on the streets along with a dazzling array of other goodies. Sample pizza napoletana, in authentic versions known as marinara (with tomato, garlic, and oil) and pizza margherita (with tomato, mozzarella and basil). Pizza margherita takes its name from Margherita di Savoia, first queen of Italy. Ingredients are rigorously selected by pizzaioli, who work the dough with a master touch so that when baked in a matter of moments in a searing hot wood-fired oven the crust puffs to a bread-like softness with a delectable hint of crunch. Or you can sample focaccie of all description.
Street foods extend through a range of fried, grilled, sauteed, baked, and frozen delights sold at shops and kiosks and from carts that ply the narrow streets and alleyways. Calzone (stuffed pizza), potato croquettes, rich balls, and courgette flowers in batter are just some of the street fare. Meat plays a much smaller part, with seafood and vegetables king, and clams, squid, and octopus are prominent menu features. The fact that they may be eaten standing up doesn't detract at all from their inherent goodness.
Neopolitan pastries are delicious, among which sfogliatelle (a fragrant, crisp, crusty triangular pocket filled with sweet ricotta), pastiera flavored with orange blossom essence, struffoli, and zeppole are legendary. Gelato is often made from fresh fruit and nuts. Icy granita is usually flavored with lemon or coffee. Some say the secret of Naples' (Napoli) seductively sweet espresso is a pinch of chocolate in the coffee grounds. Another specialty is the baba', a soft brioche soaked in rum and sugar syrup and often filled with cream.
Neapolitans are also devoted to pasta: maccheroni, spaghetti, vermicelli, fusilli, perciatelli, ziti, among others. The favored pasta sauce is pummarola from the rare, tiny plum-shaped San Marzano tomatoes from the fertile valley to the southeast of Vesuvius in the provinces of Avellino and Salerno.Seafood is a mainstay of the Neapolitan diet, especially in antipasto and pasta or deep fried in a grand fritto di pesce. The gulf abounds in little clams called vongole veraci, mussels, tender young octopus, cuttlefish, squid, prawns, shrimp, anchovies, and the smelt called cecenielli.
With a warm, dry climate, and soil rich in tufa and volcanic ash, the coastal hill and islands around Naples (Napoli) has seven DOC wines. One of these zones is the Asprinio di Aversa located in the plains north of Naples (Napoli) which produces a dry white wine from at least 85 percent Asprinio grapes. In its more popular form, Asprinio di Aversa is a dry spumante from 100 percent Asprinio.