In the summer of 2011 when I was studying in Rome through Villanova Law School, some of us decided to visit the coastal Italian gem, Sorrento. Sorrento is located in the Campania region of southern Italy. From Sorrento you can access Naples, Pompeii, Amalfi, Positano, Capri, and Ischia. We visited at the end of July, which was clearly summer vacation time for both locals and tourists. Everyone was outside enjoying the beautiful weather and scenic views. We even saw a wedding at a church that almost overlooked the water.
For our first course, we ordered the tasting platter of fresh buffalo cheese. Buffalo mozzarella is produced from the milk of water buffalo, and it is traditionally produced in Campania. With twice the fat of cow milk, mozzarella di bufala is extremely creamy and soft with such fresh flavor that it makes you wonder what kind of mozzarella you’ve been eating your whole life. Check out this New York Times article for more details about the exquisite nature of real Italian mozzarella di bufala.
In our tasting platter we received mozzarella, bocconcini, treccine, and ricotta with honey drizzled on top. I had already been a big fan of ricotta, but this version was nothing like anything I had ever tasted before. Each bite was a mouthful of rich and creamy amazingness, and then with the honey it was almost too much to handle. Of course, the mozzarella was delicious as well, with three different consistencies for us to sink our teeth into.
Next we ordered the focaccia with rosemary. For a huge fan of rosemary, this was excellent.
For my main course, I ordered the mix seafood sauté. Since we were on the Italian coast, seafood seemed to be the most appropriate choice. Not only do the clams and mussels look so enticing, but the lemons are so beautiful as well!
One of my favorite things about real Italian cuisine is that you are never served an enormous plate of pasta that has been doused and drowned in sauce. Italians serve the perfect proportion of pasta to sauce, and the serving sizes are also just right in that you are served the right amount so as not to feel like you are stuffing yourself. Italian food is not just a means to an end – it is meant to be enjoyed and savored.
My selection the second night was a true treat. I ordered the stuffed squid. I really didn’t know what to expect, as the menu gave no further indication as to what my squid would actually be stuffed with, but I trusted my instincts that told me this would be worth trying.
The squid was extremely tender, and it was stuffed with some sort of ricotta-pine nut-veggie-herb mix. The accompaniment of the arugula and sweet balsamic vinaigrette on the sides went so well with the main feature. I would absolutely recommend that anyone who visits this restaurant try this dish. It was visually beautiful, interesting to taste and discover, and – the most important part – delicious.
Me and my friend Kate on a small boat traveling around the island of Capri after taking the ferry from Sorrento.