As in any part of Italy, Neapolitans are passionate and quite opinionated about their cuisine. The food of this city is as exuberant as its natives. The cooking of this region aims to preserve the flavors of the local fresh ingredients as well as their fragrance, thereby maintaining a focus on simplicity rather than sophistication. Southern Italian food is considered to be the "soul of Italy".
Spending a few days in Napoli over Christmas means adding roughly one kilo a day to the scales. Seriously! The food is so delicious and Nonna's cooking is the best. Like any self respecting Neapolitan family, the best meals are found in the homes where nonna and mamma make dishes using the decade’s old family recipe. Each family, of course, has their own unique version of the dish.
Walking through the airport upon our arrival, Expat Girl mentioned with a smile that we would be taking off from this gate in less than a week but weighing at least 5 kg more... each of us.
And she was right!
As we prepare the New Year's Eve menu we will just conveniently forget about the extra kilos and concentrate on more scrumptious food... there are always the New Year's Resolutions to be made!
Core e mamma comme me piace e te chiamma accussi.
Core e mamma si a vita mia.
Restaurants don't need to look flashy but the food needs to taste good, preferably with home cooking by Mamma or Nonna who are standing behind the stove!
Pizza fritta is an absolute must in Napoli...
...as are spaghetti alle vongole.
Neapolitans are also known for their preference for sweets! The desserts of this region focus on citrus and pastry and here are just a few of the region’s favourites.
Zeppole are my latest discovery.
Dolci alle mandorle are my personal favourite.
The family Christmas lunch table at 17:30...
... and we are still going strong!
When you run out of homemade struffoli...
...the only option is to buy some.
However, they will never be as delicious as Expat Girl's homemade ones thanks to Nonna's recipe!
These little balls of deep fried dough are drizzled with honey and decorated with "diavulilli" (colored sprinkles) and preferably served warm.
Baba al rhum in all its variations are Expat hubby's favourite.
The classic version is served plain and soaked in a rum, strega, or limoncello-based syrup, but you can also find them sliced and filled with pastry cream, ricotta cream, cream chantilly and fruit, lemon cream or Nutella.
Sfogliatella riccia is Expat boys favourite!
Paper-thin layers of beautifully baked clam-shaped pastry pockets filled with an oozing, buttery filling of creamy ricotta cheese, sugar, cinnamon, and little bits of candied citrus.