Tag: Campania

Ammaccata: the ancient Cilentana pizza by Cristian Santomauro – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay


As passionate about leavened products as he is about the stories of the elderly, he still tells me today that he loves to stop at the bar with someone older to chat and above all to hear about the lives, moments and anecdotes of the town. In this spirit of sharing and brotherhood with the locals, he began to make his first bruises to support, during the street festivals, the fundraisers intended for the creation of new murals that would embellish the city. White art goes hand in hand with pictorial art. Grandma Teresa continues to be his greatest supporter, but also his harshest judge; she tells him that it is good, but it is not like the one “of the past”.

What did Grandma Teresa mean? What was the old ammaccata like? Why wasn’t the one she was making so good? This was the real starting point for the young pizza chef. Questions he absolutely had to find an answer to. His research focused heavily on the stories of many local women, women with big hands and sharp brains. Aunts, neighbors, and commoners from other neighboring towns helped him put together the pieces of a puzzle that then gave life to the true traditional recipe. Obviously, since it’s a dish that’s very tied to tradition, each person asked gave their own version, but what they all had in common was the fact that to make the ammaccata, durum wheat and soft wheat flours were first mixed together in a bowl, with very little salt; and I have to say, it’s one of the least flavorful doughs I’ve ever tasted. To this mixture was then added the mother yeast and everything was left to rise for a whole day so that a mass was formed from which the “padellucce” were obtained which were later used to make bread or, indeed, the ammaccate. It was a choral work, done by several women, who in the meantime had the opportunity to exchange advice and curiosities.

Ancient grains.

Cristian’s place could only be called: Ammaccata

Cristian was interested in reliving that ritual and spreading that ancient knowledge as much as possible, putting back in its place that sense of belonging that had been lost along the way. That’s why he has never stopped promoting ancient, traditional grains, especially from Cilento, for fifteen years now. It’s worth remembering that Velia, in Cilento, was the first Greek colony and that the entire area has culinary traditions and, not only that, very ancient ones that they can be proud of. Like a young man who dreams of making music and of treading the most important stages, but starts strumming on the side of a road, so Cristian, starting from micro events, street parties and very small festivals, often putting his own money into it, begins to let people taste the ancient Cilentana pizza, promoting its goodness and making those who had perhaps forgotten it discover an ancient recipe.

Iginio Massari awards Gigi D’Alessio the Artis Suavitas Award – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay


It is from the stage of the exceptional setting of the Avella Amphitheatre that Iginio Massari awarded the prize last night The Soft Arts to the singer-songwriter Gigi D’Alessio adding a truly… sweet dedication: «With a good babà you are a tongue twister and your words fly to heaven.

Maestro Iginio Massari, after receiving the award in the 2023 edition, has been a member of the Scientific Committee for a few months now, which has proposed and chosen the personalities considered to be the best of Italianness in the world. In addition to Gigi D’Alessio, the award was given yesterday to Malika Ayane, Massimiliano Fuksas, Roberto Giacobbo, Linton Johnson, Giovanni Liccardo, Mogol, Lorenzo Quinn, The Jackal, Valentina Vignali, Mario Zanetti and, connected with a video message, the Senator for life Liliana Secret.

In addition to Massari, the Scientific Committee of Artis Suavitas includes Maurice De Giovanniwriter, screenwriter, author and playwright, Antonio FiordellisiManager of Zurich Bank, Antonello Paolo Perillojournalist and deputy director of TGR RAI.

Leonardo Marciano Photographer

Stuffed lemons in Capri: the new trend is viral – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

Stuffed lemons in Capri: the new trend is viral


THE stuffed lemons in Capri they went viral. Once you disembark at the port you are greeted by a sea of ​​tourists, porters, and… lemons. Just walk along the Marina Grande pier to be struck by the quantity of lemons that appear everywhere: on the tables, in the baskets, in the windows of the ice cream parlors. Lemons have always been a symbol of Capri, they decorate souvenirs and every product Made in Capri or supposedly so, from watches to tablecloths, but they have never been the great protagonists in the kitchen. At the table the Caprese salad, the Caprese sandwich, the Caprese cake, even the Caprese cutlet were the masters, decidedly less lemons. In recent years, however, they have turned into a viral phenomenon, in a stuffed version.

«But was it me who didn’t remember them before or is it something new? I ask the boy who accompanies me in a taxi to my destination. «It’s something new – he tells me – «something from the last few years, you know… social media. And in fact the last time I was in Capri was 2020, the year without international tourism but also the one in which TikTok is exhibited, and with it, from the following year, the Capri lemons. Lemons filled with sorbet and lemon ice cream stand out on the tables, in people’s hands, girls take selfies holding huge yellow fruits from which umbrellas and straws emerge, “filled” with limoncello spritzes.

Lemon sorbet… in lemon

From 80s desserts to stuffed fruits, looking for the inventor of stuffed lemons in Capri risks being complicated because they are to all intents and purposes part of our national imagination. However, there are certainties: before being sold by Bindi and Antica Gelateria del Corso, fruit filled with ice cream was invented by Matteo Napoli, recently deceased, founder of the historic Gelateria Matteo in 1958 in Lancusi, in the heart of the Irno Valley. He was the inventor of the so-called “fruits”, so popular that they were much requested by VIPs and today sold from Baronissi’s laboratory to half of Europe. In the 1980s at Don Alfonso 1890 in Sant’Agata dei due Golfi, the emptied lemon house hosted the Concerto di Limoni, lemon milk cream, lemon staple and a lemon cream cream puff. In 2017, frozen fruits become popular again thanks to Cédric Grolet, a celebrity pastry chef from beyond the Alps who creates what looks like a lemon but is actually a trompe-l’œil, which in French means “deception of the eye”, and is instead a mousse filled with layers of goodness. He even writes a book about it, Fruitspublished in 2017, and launches a hashtag as popular as his Instagram profile, #cgfruits.

Lemon sorbet, in the square

Stuffed lemons in Capri are therefore not an invention, but certainly an intuition. At the Bar Gelateria Grotta Azzurra, a renowned artisanal ice cream shop on the island since 1970, in Anacapri and at the branch in the small square on Capri, they mainly focus on lemons. It’s nothing new: «We started 5 years ago – one of the partners tells me, Fabrizio Brunetti. In 2021 they churn out the lemon-shaped single portion, a bit like Cédric Grolet, and now in addition to serving the lemon sorbet with lemon in the cup they have also designed a ceramic cup, for those who sit at the table. Their lemons are small, or rather they are “normal”, they are Sorrento PGI lemons, which is more rounded, with an oval shape, while the sfusato amalfitano and the Amalfi lemon have thick and wrinkled skin, very irregular, and ends with a sort of point. Very different from those huge cedars that are used to serve cocktails. But those are more fashionable down at the Marina Grande pier.

Cocktails in Marina Grande

The places in the port now have them printed on the menu and it is more difficult to find one that doesn’t serve them. Antonio, known as Tony Lemon, was already serving the Limoncello Spritz (lemon granita, limoncello and prosecco) at Molo20, also in Marina Grande, in 2019, but it seems to have taken hold since after Covid. Antonio Aprea from Bar Aprea, right in front of the hydrofoil pier, explains it to me. «Capri was the first, as always, to launch the fashion, as it did 30 years ago with limoncello. Lemon is our resource he tells me in front of a window of ice cream and lemon« this will have a maximum of 4 years, it was done but little, today thanks to social media it has become a must. People come and ask for it”, he explains to me. It has already become a new classic, they are popping up like mushrooms, social media confirms it, tourists go crazy for it on TikTok and in a few years they will write in books that it was invented here, in Capri, who knows in what distant era. But in the meantime they still don’t do it at the historic Bonocore ice cream and pastry shop in the center.

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