One could begin the route of the Lemon Trail, the path that connects Maiori to Minori, starting with a visit to the lemon grove enclosed within the restaurant Pineta 1903. The typical nature of the Coastal landscape is an integral part of the restaurant’s décor. The yellow of the lemons, which fall in clusters from a vast pergola, is the main element of the dehors of this hub of taste. Here, a series of small tables set up alternately between one tree and the next allow diners to savor the dishes of a refined cuisine that exalts the long culinary tradition of Campania with simplicity, authenticity, and creativity.
Discovering Amalfi’s yellow gold
The area between Maiori and Minori hosts one of the highest concentrations of terraces where Sfusato Amalfitano, the yellow gold of the Amalfi Coast, is cultivated. The starting point is the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria a Mare in Maiori; the church can be recognized by its majolica dome. From here, we continue to Via Vena, where a series of stairs lead to the heart of the trail. There are, in fact, about 400 steps that connect the path from Maiori to Minori. Along the way, it is easy to meet a local farmer carrying on a basket, known as sporte (in local dialect), large quantities of lemons. The job of the lemon transporters is not only left to the strength of the man but also to that of the woman. Allegories, in fact, of the transportation of lemons are the formichelle (little ants), women who had and still have today, the task of carrying from one place to another on the coast sports filled with lemons.
From Torre to Minori
The path is animated by a series of private gardens and natural oases where Sfusato Amalfitano is grown. The richest area of these gardens is the village of Torre, located about halfway along the trail. From here, the view is lost on expanses of terraces that paint the entire landscape of the Amalfi Coast. To fully enjoy the view over the infinity of the Divine land, however, you have to walk a little more until you reach the belvedere of the mortella, where the gaze loses itself in the cobalt blue of the sea. A few minutes pause and then resume the walk until you reach Minori.
The agricultural excellence of the Divine land
A symbol of coastal agriculture, Sfusato Amalfitano is known worldwide for its unique characteristics, which make it indeed an excellence of the area. Of Protected Geographical Indication -IGP, the Amalfi lemon has a tapered shape, hence the term sfusato, and has a medium-thick peel with light yellow hues. Its intense fragrance is given by the richness of essential oils and terpenes that enhance its aroma. Its juicy, seedless pulp has also been the source of research at the Federico II University of Naples, which has shown that this variety is among the richest present in Italy in ascorbic acid, or Vitamin C. It is no coincidence that centuries ago, Sfusato Amalfitano was used to combat scurvy, a disease caused by Vitamin C deficiency. Beyond its health benefits, Sfusato Amalfitano is one of the main ingredients of local cuisine.
The Cuisine of Pineta 1903
At Pineta 1903 restaurant, for example, it forms the raw material of various dishes and drinks. Spritz Amalfitano, made with limoncello, prosecco, and soda, one of the restaurant’s signature cocktails, is served as an aperitif and a drink to accompany appetizers. The flavor of Sfusato Amalfitano can also be found in the list of first courses, including Risotto al mare Bianco, made with cuttlefish, baby squid, clams, mussels, shrimp, scampi and grated lemon zest, or the spigolacci, ravioli prepared in the restaurant’s pasta factory, stuffed with sea bass, potato cream, parmesan cheese, thyme, and emulsioned citrus, with fish bisque on yellow tomatoes and basil. Also noticed is the list of sfumato-scented desserts, including the delizia al limone and the reinterpretation of the caprese, repurposed by the chefs of Pineta 1903 with lemon. A recipe, born by mistake, has become one of the most popular and beloved desserts.