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A gastronomic tour of Campania

by Filippo di Lenardo, 10 March 2017

Mozzarella being madeYesterday afternoon I decided to attend an event that I was particularly excited about: “Le strade delle Mozzarella” – “The streets of Mozzarella”

It was a two day event celebrating this wonderful cheese. It’s a cheese that most people have tasted but only a few have savoured it at its very best. It is a rather delicate product that can change its flavour profile in a matter of hour which makes it fundamental to find and taste it as fresh as possible – the taste is just divine!

The event started 10 years ago in the heart of the mozzarella production area, in the historic town of Paestum, just off the Amalfi coast. They decided to celebrate their anniversary in London this year so I simply could not miss it.

So with an open mind and an empty stomach we arrived at the luxurious Baglioni Hotel in Knightsbridge, where we were in for a treat. Upon arrival, there were a few producers from the region exhibiting delicious delicacies ranging from Mozzarella (of course), all sorts of delightful regional tomatoes, vegetables, olive oils and wines. This was just the aperitivo, little did we know that it was going to be a full on feast… unmistakably Italian.

Mozzarella presentation5 Michelin star chefs created wonderful modern interpretations of Mozzarella based dishes explaining not only their philosophy behind their style of cooking but most importantly highlighting the versatility of their products. We tried Mozzarella in every possible way, from spaghetti made with mozzarella to a delicious mozzarella cream with caramelized olives and blueberries, what a desert that was! All the chefs were from the south of Italy and they shared their many inspiring stories throughout the afternoon.

Smelling and tasting the products took me back to last summer when I was in the Campania region. It’s such a fantastic place for food and the ultimate destination to organise an exclusive gourmet holiday in Italy.

Seafood, musselsImagine starting your journey in Naples, of course, home to Pizza and delicious pastries such as Sfogliatella and Baba. You then continue to drive down towards mount Vesuvius where they produce some of the best tomatoes in the country called Piennolo. The volcanic soil is also fantastic for wine production, in fact there are some great artisanal wineries that produce marvellous wine such as Lacryma Christi and Coda di Volpe. On your way to Sorrento you will of course have to stop in Gragnano, home to some of Italy’s finest pasta makers. As you approach Sorrento it becomes even better. From its delicious coffee producers to stunning Provolone del Monaco, a fantastic cheese that makes one of the best pasta you will ever eat in your life: Pasta alla Nerano!

The Sorrento area is also known for having a wide selection of innovative Michelin star restaurants that will really take you on a sensational gastronomic journey between past, present and future.

A plate of perfect foodAs you arrive in your luxury villa in the Amalfi coast, you must make a stop to taste a delicious Limoncello made with local lemons that are huge in size as well as incredibly sublime in flavour. The area of Amalfi is known for having fascinating wine producers and their wines really smell like the sea, what we call beach wines which of course pair beautifully with fantastic fresh fish and seafood.
If you happen to have a sweet tooth you will be in for a treat as this area is home to some magical pastry chefs that will delight you with cakes such as Delizia al Limone or aubergine glazed in dark chocolate.

You will eventually arrive in Paestum, where you will need a good walk around the beautiful Greek ruins to make sure you digest before indulging into the best Mozzarella ever.

This is what I call a luxury travel experience in Italy, an exclusive gastronomic journey across Campania. What are you waiting for?