LOCAL PRODUCTS

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CHEESES

The art of cheese making in Vico Equense is a beloved and long-lived tradition, kept alive by the 30 plus workshops that continue to work with the secrets of the trade passed on from generation to generation and carefully preserved through time. The most celebrated product, always on high demand, is the “Povolone del Monaco” (DOP), a hard cheese with a flavour that can at once be sweet and spicy depending on the maturation (sometimes up to two years). This cheese is made in limited quantities and is sometimes reserved ahead of time by the many food lovers that appreciate its craftsmanship. The test of quality and correct maturation of this cheese is the “tear” of fat that comes out at the slice. The “Provolone di Monaco” or “Provolone of the Monk” gets its name from the cheese makers of Vico Equense who travelled to Naples to sell their delicacies: to protect themselves from the cold they would wear a canvas cape, very similar to a priest’s robe, so the Neapolitans began to call the cheese makers “monks”, hence their provolone became the “Provolone of the Monk”. Other local products include the “Riavulilli” (little devils), soft cheeses filled with either olives and chilli or ham and pickled foods and best served on the grill, and the “Caprignetti”, tasty and colourful goat milk cheese balls covered in aromatic herbs and dressed in local extra virgin olive oil. Another popular favourite is the “Caciocavallo”, which is produced in different maturation periods and comes both smoked and un-smoked, and the “Babà di Sorrento” from the Sorrento workshops, which has a short shelf life and must be eaten within a few days of being made. The “Fiordilatte” dominates the fresh cheeses variety: made with cow’s milk, this soft cheese is confectioned either as small bites or in a braid, and can be stuffed with ham, basil, or tomatoes. Other notable products include the “Provola” smoked with natural straw, and the “Burrino”, a heart of butter enclosed in a shell of cheese – a tender casket of flavours and preserver of an ancient tradition.

WINE, OLIVE OIL AND FRUITS

The tradition and passion for oil dates back to ancient times, and is still so heartfelt that the local production earned the category of extravergine di oliva Penisola Sorrentina (DOP),: an aromatic, golden green oil with a sweet flavour and hints of sour and chilli. The hand-picked olives come from local olive varieties “Minucciola” and “Rotondella”. These beautiful, terraced olive groves overlook the sea and the gulf of Naples. Just as celebrated are the local wines, both white and red, which now boast the DOC Penisola Sorrentina trademark, and which pair perfectly with seafood dishes and with dishes of the land. The excellence of these wines hails back to ancient times, as can be read in the poem “Punica” by latin poet Silio Italico. Other typical products of the hills and the mountains of Vico Equense are nuts, figs and chestnuts. The latter from the mount Faito can be enjoyed both roasted or as “castagne del prete” (chestnuts of the priest) which is when the chestnuts are dried, baked and steamed. The nuts are another typical fruit, and are famous worldwide so far as earning the quality brand “the nuts of Sorrento”. Following a typical ancient farmers recipe, the nuts can be used to make a local liqueur called “Nocino” or “Nocillo” – a great digestif made on the night of Saint John the Baptist (24th of June) by steeping the hulls overnight in an alcohol infusion. And to add joy to the Christmas season, the tables are adorned with nut-filled figs covered in colourful sugar balls during the festivities.

LIQUEURS, PRESERVES AND HONEY

The Sorrento peninsula is synonym for “Limoncello”, a liqueur made with sugar and the peels of the aromatic lemons (known locally as “sfusato” or “femminiello”) grown in the lemon groves under the typical roofed structures called “pagliarelle”, and rigorously handpicked. It is usually enjoyed ice cold and after a meal, but experts actually recommend to drink it at room temperature, or even warm, to take in its wonderful flavours. Other local liqueurs include the “Nocino” or “Nocillo”, a bitter digestif, and the “Finocchietto”, made with wild fennel, a very popular plant of the area. Adding to the list are the many different flavoured liqueurs (tangerine, orange, strawberry, blueberry, chestnut) and fruit creams of different alcohol content, topped off with whipped cream. Another popular product is the honey made in the countryside in a number of varieties : orange, acacia, wildflower, chestnut and eucalyptus. The honeys can be enjoyed on their own or in sweet or savoury recipes, and in royal jelly and pollen. Not to be missed are the delicious preserves made with citrus fruits, other local fruits and the fruits of the forest of Mount Faito.

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Comune di Vico Equense - Ufficio Turismo e Cultura

sede legale Corso Filangieri, 98
Tel.: +39 081/8019100
sede operativa Viale Rimembranza, 1
Tel.: +39 081/8019500
Cod. Fiscale: 82007510637
Part. IVA: 01548611217
80069 Vico Equense (NA) 

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