During the summer of 2014 we visited the town of Minori. With just 3,000 inhabitants it is situated along the Amalfi coast, alongside other towns like Ravello, Positano and Amalfi.
A thin winding road links the towns. It is banked on one side by hills, covered with amazing lemon groves, that yield the lemons for making Limoncello (the famous lemon flavored liqueur served as a digestive after meals).
During the depression, the cultivation of lemons was relied upon to feed large families. Minori was the key port and the local lemons were traded across Italy and beyond. They are now a world renowned symbol of the coast, growing to be larger than grapefruits and being used in everything imaginable; from sweets to liqueurs, pastas, salads and even eaten alone, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
The lemon groves overlook the gorgeous, warm, turquoise sea.
Minori is dubbed “the town of good taste” for its gastronomic delights. Steep steps cut into the cliff (217 to be exact) and take you down to the little town below. There you can have an expresso or some vino, buy fresh meats and produce, walk along the beach or eat at one of the local cafes.
If you are lucky enough to get to Minori don’t miss out on the award winning Pasticceria De Riso. Everyday we made room for one of their amazing desserts. They are famous for the Delizie al Limone, a soft sponge-cake stuffed with lemon custard and I dream of their shortcrust pastry stuffed with ricotta cheese and pear.
We were lucky enough to be staying in a place that had 6 layers of lemon groves, lining the hillside. Under the shade of the lemon trees and abundance of fruits, vegetables and herbs thrived.
I didn’t need to go to the store. I just wandered around the gardens, looking what to pick. The branches of the fruit trees were swollen with ripe fruits and the plants were weighed down with fresh produce. Eggplants, heirloom tomatoes, zucchinis, peaches, chillis, figs, radicchio, kale, fresh basil and of course lemons. Think of it and the garden had it.
Every day I would pick a random selection to throw together a lunch we enjoyed poolside.
Everytime I think of my time there, it brings a smile to my face. If you cannot manage to visit, you can always whip together this ” Minori Limoncello Salad” . It’ll transport you to the Limoncello Groves of Italy.
Enjoy it with a nice glass of Italian Red and finish the meal off with a shot of Limoncello…
Salute !!!! Chef MM