Dear gourmands, to happily end a dinner, perhaps based on fish, especially in the hot summertime, what could be better than a glass of Limoncello?
The lemon liqueur has its own personal Campania tradition that is lost between history and legends.
To obtain Limoncello, the lemon peels are macerated (only the external yellow part, the white one would give a bitter taste that will ruin it) inside the ethyl alcohol (96% volume for food use) for about three weeks after which it is lengthened with the sugar syrup; the liqueur is then filtered and placed in the bottles, where it is left to settle away from the light for at least a month.
The history of Limoncello mixed with the many legends -all related to the Gulf of Naples and in particular to Sorrento, Amalfi and Capri-, attributes the birthright to the entrepreneur Massimo Canale who, in 1988, had the great idea of depositing and registering the trademark “Limoncello “.
Capri claims that the liqueur was born in the early 1900s in a small pension on the island where Maria Antonia Farace took care of a lemon and orange garden attached to the pension; after the war, Maria Antonia’s grandchild opened a restaurant not far from the pension run by his grandmother where the speciality was “lemon liqueur”.
In 1988, following in the footsteps of his father, Massimo Canale started a small artisan production of lemon-based liqueur and realizing the potential of the liqueur decided to register the brand.
This is one of the many versions which are followed by others which attribute the birth of Limoncello to Sorrento and Amalfi; in fact, some theories claim that the rich Sorrento families on the coast, in the early 1900s, had a delicious lemon liqueur prepared for the most illustrious guests who visited them.
Moving towards Amalfi there are even those who claim that Limoncello was born long before the 1900s, and indeed its history is directly linked to the cultivation of lemon.
According to other theories, the liqueur was already used in ancient times by farmers and fishermen to combat the morning cold, and its recipe was born inside a convent to delight the friars.
Today Limoncello is widespread internationally and is found on the shelves of many overseas supermarkets. To avoid imitations, make sure the lemons used for the Limoncello are those from Sorrento, characterized by the “oval” shape and grown in one of the municipalities of the territory that goes from Vico Equense to Massa Lubrense and the island of Capri, to which it is the denomination of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) has been assigned.
How Italy is made the limoncello?
Take a look at this video