I was sick the whole time we were in Italy (sinus infection) so eating was a bit of a problem. Restaurants don't open for dinner until 7:30 or 8 and by then I usually wanted to sleep. So we ate in our flat a lot. Meals that were not exciting. But we did have a few lovely meals. And some nice gelato.
Here's a picture of one from the Stella Maris Restaurant on the beach in Amalfi. It was a local fish - don't know what it was - but it was very fresh and very good.
Lemons and San Marzano tomatoes are the crops grown here. I love lemons, so that's great for me. I also love Limoncello, the local liqueur made from lemons. The story we heard about the San Marzano tomato - which all cooks everywhere agree is the best for tomato sauce - was interesting. We heard that in the 18th century, seeds of the San Marzano tomato were given as a gift from the King of Peru to the King of Naples.
You may ask yourself, why did the King of Peru give a gift to the King of Naples? The reason for the gift seems lost to history. Or at least not in Wikipedia. I did learn that the San Marzano tomato probably did come from Peru, but also that there was no King of Peru in the 18th century. So... it's a good story.
We also had a lovely lunch in Positano - the COG had grilled squid and I had lemon pasta, which was so fantastic that I am going to try to make some or find some. Trader Joes has Lemon Pepper pasta, nice but not the same. We had an elegant meal on our last night at a fancy restaurant in Ravello - again we had simple fresh delicious food.
But the stand out, in a way, of the whole trip was pizza we had in a restaurant in Ravello one of our first nights there. This was the BEST pizza I have ever had. It was so simple, crust-tomato sauce- buffalo mozzarella. That's it. But the crust was the best crust ever. The tomato sauce was the best tomato sauce ever - so much flavor. And the buffalo mozzarella was divine. I had quite a bit of buffalo mozzarella while we were there and it was always good - such a different thing from the pale kind of tasteless stuff we get here, which I love anyway.
The thing that, for me, made this pizza so memorable was that it reinforced what everyone says - good simple ingredients, well-prepared. One of those lessons for cooking that I knew of course, but when I actually had this pizza, I finally really got it. I will always aspire to make everything I cook from now on, this good.