Off to Campania: Eating like a Mob Boss

Bay of Naples at Sunset

It’s that time of the month again….No, not THAT one.. I mean it’s off for another gastronomic tour to one of Italy’s most beautiful and notorious regions: Campania. Campania, found on Italy’s southwest side, is home to a plethora of famous tourist destinations such as Amalfi, Sorrento, Positano, Capri, and last but definitely most notorious, Naples.

Naples Street View, Via Toledo

Travelers coming to this part of Italy are surely in for an eyeful of beauty, and a mouthful of food, but must definitely be cautious of their surroundings because despite the romantic landscapes, Naples and its surrounding cities are ‘littered’ (pun intended) with mafia violence and professional thieves. In Amalfi and other coastal tourist destinations in the area, the corruption in this region is hidden a bit more than it is in Naples; however, as a foreigner in Naples one must be incredibly aware of his surroundings and his personal belongings. Even Italians themselves recognize Naples (Napoli in Italian) as being at the crux of Italy’s mafia corruption. The Camorra (as is known the mafia in this region) is incredibly strong and while they probably could care less about a tourist, be sure not to get caught in the middle of a shoot out! (I kind of wish I was kidding.)

Nonetheless, aside from the professional pick-pocketing and potential stray bullets, Campania is home to some of Italy’s most famous food masterpieces, and thus the motivation for my arrival to the Heart of Darkness (to extend my hyperbolic attitude today).

What is the most internationally famous element of Italian cuisine? Pizza. Created in Naples in the late 18th century for King Ferdinand and his wife Margherita (hence the Pizza Margherita).

Traditional Margherita Pizza: Buffalo Mozzarella, Fresh Tomatoes, and Basil

Buffalo Mozzarella is also a key staple product in this region, despite recent tainting issues this sensually rich and flavorful cheese remains the pride of every Neopolitan. Here in Campania it is freshly made and enjoyed by all.

Mozzarella di Bufala

I will be gone until next Friday (May  14th), and will be leaving my computer at home because bringing it to Naples equivalent to having MUG ME tattooed onto my forehead. This should be true Grassroots Gourmet adventure.

The Amalfi Coast

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