by Angela della Ventura
After spending a few days in this place surrounded by nature, what’s better than taking home some of Massa Lubrense’s typical flavors? From home-brewed limoncello to dairy products, let’s take a look at every delicacy which can allow you, thanks to the five senses, to travel back to Massa Lubrense for a few moments, even if it’s only with your mind.
Limoncello (lemon liqeur)
Limoncello brewed in Massa Lubrense is considered one of the most renowned in the world. Lemons used to produce it belong to the “femminiello” variety and differ from those found elsewhere along the Amalfi Coast due to their zest, which is thinner and more aromatic. Femminiello lemons are also the main protagonists of the Lemon Festival which takes place in Massa Lubrense each July. Limoncello is brewed by macerating zests of high-quality lemons in ethyl alcohol concentrated to about 90%. Limoncello is traditionally served after meals, due to its good digestive properties and its sweet flavor. It is a perfect gift idea, and it is also great as a souvenir that can bring fond memories of your stay in Massa Lubrense.
Provolone del Monaco DOP cheese
It is one of the most sought-after dairy products in Massa Lubrense, to due its characteristic shape and its flavors. It is a spun paste cheese, mainly produced using milk from cows raised in Agerola. Milk is heated to obtain a type of curd cheese which is more cooked than the one used to produce Caciocavallo cheese. Provolone cheese is then seasoned slowly and for a long period of time, six months or more, without any addition of preservatives or lactic ferments. It bears a characteristic watermelon or pear shape, and its taste is aromatic and spicy.
Its name is derived from the capes that shepherds once wore to protect against the cold while delivering cheese from Vico Equense to the Metropolitan City of Naples. These capes resembled monk robes, as Monaco means monk in Italian.
In 2010, this type of cheese obtained the European Protected designation of origin.
The olive oil produced in Massa Lubrense is very popular and boasts an exclusive taste. It is made by pressing locally cultivated olives, coming from the Minucciolo or Cecinella variety, which are harvested between October and November each year. These olives are preferred because they are both cold and drought resistant. They are pressed using a continuous cycle press and the resulting oil has a green texture with golden reflections. Its flavor is unique and strong with hints of artichokes and brooms. By taking home this product, you will be able to enrich your meals with these unique flavors.
The vine used to produce it is cultivated at an average height of 4 meters, either with pergola or high espalier system. White wine and sparkling red wine represent the best-known type of wine produced using this vine. White wine is characterized by a straw yellow color of varying intensity and a delicate, pleasant bouquet. It is produced using 40% Falanghina vine, 20% of either Biancolella or Greco vine and 40% coming from other vines. Sparkling red vine comes with a lively yet faint red color and an intense and fruity aroma. It is produced using 40% Piedirosso vine, 20% of either Olivella or Aglianico vine and 40% coming from other vines. Both wines will be ideal to enrich both lunches and dinners, be the dishes based on meat or fish.
Limoncella apple jam
This jam is produced using apples from Sant’Agata sui due Golfi, a variety which is nowadays hard to come by, although it used to be one of Massa Lubrense’s main trade products in the nineteenth century. These apples have a typical elliptical shape, the peel being thin and speckled, usually yellow but sometimes red. Their pulp is very fragrant, with a light, slightly lemon-like sour taste. Well ripened apples’ pulp becomes white. Limoncella apples are harvested between September and October and the jam produced using them lasts a long time.
An apple tart made using lemoncella apple jam is guaranteed to turn a common, almost trivial dessert into a unique delicacy with refined flavors.