Caprese: the fantastic sandwich and where to eat it (in Capri) – Italian Cuisine


In Capri, with tomato and mozzarella, you make a sandwich for which you have to queue up, in the most famous delicatessen on the island (but it costs only € 4)

In the very chic Capri there is an address that brings everyone together, starred chefs, VIPs, Neapolitans on a trip and well-informed tourists. It is a delicatessen, with popular prices and with a queue outside; where to stop to taste one of the best kept secrets of the island.

The Futurist genesis

If LA Caprese is famous all over the world and is among the most famous dishes of the Italian summer, there is also a sandwich version. But it is not a fast food invention of the Third Millennium, it is part of the island's history at least when the "dish" version. The ingredients are the same: tomato, mozzarella, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and basil leaves. The salad version owes its origins to Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, futurist and gourmet in search of revolutionary dishes: strictly pasta-free, traditionalist because heavy to digest. In Capri, a "cheese and tomato" salad was already eaten, but during a gala evening at Grand Hotel Quisisana in 1922, Marinetti had the patriotic recipe served – where it is still in the paper.

IL Caprese, sandwich version, boasts the same popular origins and its fortune to a king himself, Farouk of Egypt. We are in 1951 and during a holiday in Capri, the sovereign asked for a snack, and so he tasted a street food that was consumed by the commoners. The success was such that it can still be found on the menus of the bars on the island and throughout the coast. But where to eat a good one?

Where to eat it: the chef's advice

The Capri chef doc Luigi Lionetti, of the starred restaurant Le Monzù of the Hotel Punta Tragara – the most luxurious on the island – has no doubts: "The delicatessen down by the port". Is called Aldo's delicatessen, the surname is Cuccurullo, and to recognize it just look in front of the ferry dock in Marina Grande: has the yellow curtain and the row outside. Inside is an ordinary delicatessen, which still sounds special in Capri, with a nice fridge with beers from 66 to 2 € (and drinks ready to be taken to the beach) and a delicatessen counter where mozzarella and salami dominate. At the moment they slice the sandwich in half, French or with soft oil (it depends on what is left over) the tomato strictly beef heart, the braid of mozzarella fior di latte, basil leaves broken with your fingers, a sprinkling of salt, a drizzle of oil and go into the wax paper € 4 for 30 cm of goodness: because size also matters. There are those who have raw ham added, others cooked, some eggplants in oil: everything is weighed at the moment. Then they write the price on your slip of paper and you go to the cash desk (two meters away) where Aldo's wife prepares the receipt. And for € 5 including a drink, you can take a bite at one of the Capri institutions. Where to eat it? On the beach or, better still, as an aperitif at sunset along the promenade of via Grotta Azzurra, Punta del Miglio or Forte Mesola. Capri will not be a low-cost destination, but it offers absolutely democratic corners of poetry.

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