The end of the meal
The moment which ends the meal is a very important one for the people of Campania, and is lived in almost sacred relaxation.
First of all, a cup of good coffee..
Coffee is a fundamental entity of the customs and of the very soul of the Neapolitans: it is a source of wisdom more than of nutrition, a ritual occasion which is very useful for strengthening affections and for stimulating thought, for creating friendships and prolonging understandings. The opinion in the city is that at Naples you can drink the best coffee in Italy and, therefore, in the world.
The Pindar of Neapolitan coffee still today remains Eduardo De Filippo, who extolled the glory of the aromatic drink in the opening scene of the second act of ‘Questi fantasmi’ (‘These ghosts’). The protagonist, Pasquale Lojacono, tenant of a house inhabited by too many restless souls, speaks with a person living opposite who we do not see, but who is usually in agreement, that is, the professor: and describes and illustrates in full detail to him, his own method for making coffee.
Then comes the ammazza caffé which, up until a few years ago, was constituted prevalently by Strega, a liqueur from Benevento which is nowadays known throughout the world. Its inventor, Giuseppe Alberti, produced it for the first time in 1870.
It is an infusion of angelica roots and other aromatic herbs, with the addition of saffron. This mixture, kept in alcohol for a certain amount of time, aromatises it, concluding the first phase of its processing. Subsequently, the filtered liqueur is transferred into wooden barrels where it is aged over a long period of time. It is sweet/amabile tasting and delicate, with an alcoholic content of about 45°. It is drunk straight at the end of a meal, but also with water as a long-drink, and is also a component of various cocktails.
Today, the fashionable digestive liqueur is limoncello. It is a liqueur which has always been produced at Sorrento and its surrounding area, using the splendid lemons of the Coast. Limoncello has met with increasing success over the past years which has seen the proliferation of its production outside its territory of origin. The true limoncello is, however, the one which is obtained from the lemons of Sorrento and the rest of the peninsula, as well as from Capri, and it is produced by infusion.