Whenever we think about Italian culture many colourful stereotypes immediately spring to mind. Like the way they talk very loudly with their hands. Or the way they can be so touchy feely and prone to public displays of intense emotion. Or perhaps the way they’re always late and are completely unable to form an orderly queue.
From an Englishman’s perspective this can make Italian culture…something of an acquired taste. But there’s one aspect of Italian culture that we in England can all get aboard with. No, it’s not their coffee – though I think it’s great! It’s the food!
Anyone who’s been on holiday to Italy can tell you the truth. The food on offer there is so much better and more exciting than the pale imitations and bland versions you can find worldwide. The supermarkets can pimp up their “artisanal” pasta brands all they want, but nothing beats the freshly made stuff. And that can leave lovers of authentic Italian food in a spaghetti-like bind.
But fear not! Introducing…
We’re a small, independently owned Italian Delicatessen, bistro and cocktail bar on Mill Road, Cambridge. And we’re here to make your life more Italian! Come to us for the warmest greetings a socially distanced world will permit. And the most authentic slice of Italian culture in England that can be found.
It is our quest in life to teach the English how to channel their inner Italian. Come to us for the most outrageous and theatrical of promises. Stay for the quality. And the flirting.
Within our magnificent abode you’ll fine only the best of Italian products, all sourced directly from the sweet bosom of mother Italy. Sure, you can get a jar of pesto down the supermarket. Or some salami. But not Limoncello quality pesto or salami. And if you want to recreate that exquisite Italian cuisine you had on holiday, you need the best quality of ingredients.
But don’t just take our word for it. We’re not just here to sell you high quality authentic edible Italian luxuries. But also, to educate you on why our products are so good and what you could use them for. We call this eatucation. And for that look no further than our bistro. Every dish we make is made from products sold in the deli. Making the perfect opportunity to try before you buy!
But where to start? There’s just too much to choose from! Fear not! We’ve decided to start up a blog talking about some of our favourite products and what you can use them for. Starting with our favourite pesto – the Pesto of the Gods!
Pesto of the Gods
We all know pesto. That Italian classic sauce originating in Genoa, in Liguria. A coarse blend of fresh basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss it in with some fresh, handmade pasta and the right pesto can elevate the dish from satisfying to divine. Or perhaps you want to drop a dollop in a soup. Spread it on some fresh bread in place of butter. Or maybe lift up some steamed vegetables to make it a family favourite.
The key with pesto is to use it sparingly. Using too much will come to dominate the taste and texture of a dish. It’s not gravy, to be poured liberally over everything in sight. So a good pesto is potent stuff. It needs to be formidable. To have a taste powerful enough to titillate the tastebuds. So that small quantities can cause big explosions.
This is a problem for supermarkets. As shops of mass appeal, they can’t justify selling niche products with a taste they deem too extreme. Since it may put off casual customers. Another example is in curries. You want a really hot, blow-your-mouth-back to India curry, you can’t get it in the supermarket.
But Limoncello is not so restrained. We sent our professional taste testers all across the Italian peninsula to sample the finest pesto the country has to offer. And though mama always makes it best, we had to settle on a pesto with zing which is available in quantity for our customers. So introducing our official Pesto of the Gods, Pesto Ligure from Sapori D’Italia.
Join us in Limoncello on Mill Road to try before you buy.
Credit - Thomas Farley