From the “maccarune ncasciati” to the “roccocò”, a journey of gastronomic discovery for Christmas on the Sorrento coast.
Each Italian region has its own tradition, but where the differences between cultures are most evident is at the table. Infact, from the variety of recipes, from the starter to the dessert, it is possible to see the different tastes of the inhabitants in different areas of the Italian peninsula. But the moment when these culinary differences become more evident is during the Christmas holiday when, depending on whether you are sitting at a table in Trieste or Palermo, but also in Naples or Salerno, it is very easy to see how local tradition change and also the food. At Christmas in Sorrento you can find dishes that are more or less unknown in other parts of Italy, but also in other parts of Campania. In brief, a description of Sorrento peninsula’s typical Christmas dishes, as it is impossible to give details of single recipes, but we can give at least an idea of this traditional holiday in Sorrento.
Starters consist of local cheese: trecce (plaited fresh cheese), provolone del monaco (medium strong cheese) from Vico Equense. But the largest variation is in the main courses. You can choose from “maccarune ncasciati” (very rich pasta oven baked), spaghetti with clams from the Bay of Naples, vermicelli (similar to spaghetti but thicker) with mixed seafood, vermicelli with anchovies. Between the first and the second course there are different dishes to refresh the palaté. Among these broccoli di rapa tossed in the pan, mixed salad with plenty of different ingredients, calzone pizza filled with prickly lettuce and stuffed prickly lettuce. Continuing with the next course, if you are still able to go on, you can choose between baccalà (salted cod fish) cooked according to traditional Neapolitan recipes, stuffed capon and turkey. To finish the meal in the best way there are the typical Christmas desserts from the “Land of Syrenes”: Neapolitan cassata, mustacciuoli (crunchy flaky pastry with chocolate), roccocò ( crunchy biscuits with toasted almonds), sapienza (a dessert of crunchy biscuits citron fruit and nuts in an ‘S’ shape), struffoli (small crunchy biscuit balls coated in honey and ‘hundred and thousands’) or the more traditional zeppole covered in honey. After eating so much, of course you have to sip a small glass of limoncello, made in Sorrento with Sorrento lemons. If after this description you are watering at the mouth there is nothing else we can do except to say ‘enjoy your meal!’.