Campania, the Italian Land of Sun, sea and culture, since ancient times has distinguished itself by its vast culinary heritage, rich in unique delicacies in the world.
Naples offers something more: the fragrance of its food is, in fact, the ideal introduction to a place that can also charm the tourists by its churches, streets and monuments.
Neapolitan cuisine can count on an outstanding collection of vegetables and local fruit, some processes of milk and sausages, of high quality seafood products.
The Neapolitan culinary art has a set of procedures that have been passed in many centuries and still contribute today to give them a precise and unique gastronomic identity. Already in the ‘500, Naples was famous for its fine food, for its great variety and quality ingredients, selected among the agricultural products of local crops.
Then came from America tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers and beans and Neapolitan cuisine underwent a profound transformation. The spread of these vegetables, rich in aromas, contributed to change strongly the bittersweet dominant feature that had characterized until then the kitchen in the shadow of Vesuvius.
Two are the dishes that have made Naples in the world: the “spaghetti al pomodoro” and the “pizza napoletana”.
In Naples for the “spaghetti al pomodoro” (spaghetti with tomato sauce) it is used San Marzano tomatoes, but in recent years has spread the “pachino” (the cherry tomato). But the tradition has that for this recipe is always used one of the oldest and typical products of agriculture bell, the Tomato of Vesuvius Piennolo, the famous cluster of tomatoes, also called “spungilli”, an icon of the classic Neapolitan cuisine.
Pizza is Naples. Without a doubt, one of the most popular dishes in the world and real-ness symbol anywhere. The pizza, which inherits its name from Queen Margherita of Savoy, has as main ingredients basil, mozzarella and tomato which refer to the colors of the Italian flag.
Its origin dates back to the late eighteenth century, but its spread has to the 800 when on the orders of Ferdinand IV, in the ovens where the pottery was baked, the pizzas were well cooked. The pizza quickly spread around and, despite the attempts of imitation, the real Neapolitan pizza proved only that. The term Pizza Napoletana, for its importance in the history and in the territory, is often used as a synonym of the pizza with the cornice that is low in the middle and far higher at the edges. From February 4, 2010, it was officially recognized as a traditional specialty guaranteed by the European Communities. In 2011 it was made by Italy as a candidate to UNESCO recognition as Intangible World Heritage.
Another culinary celebrity in Naples is its “street food”.
The street food in Naples is now well established and there are historical places to find such a variety of foods to be able to satisfy even the most discerning palates. One of those foods that you find easy on the street is the fried food, and in a city like Naples you can find everything fried. Vomero is one of the main areas where you can enjoy the street food; croquettes, pasta, rice balls and many other fried delights make this elegant neighborhood as the most popular for this type of street food.
Some recipes from Neapolitan street food are ancient and jealously handed down from generation to generation, as the case of the “bror e purp”, the octopus soup.
The octopus is boiled and served in a kind of soup with stale bread and represents a street food much appreciated by the Neapolitans, but also the tourists, curious to know the city through the discovery of the traditional dishes.
Speaking of street food in Naples we cannot fail to mention the many sweets. Among the desserts that characterize the major Neapolitan street food it’s impossible not to quote to puffs, filled today with various creams. Also you have to try the “babà”, the donuts of San Giuseppe and the “struffoli”, typical Christmas cakes today prepared throughout the year.