eat of the day:
There is something special with how the Italians celebrate their food.
While a lot treat it as just mere fuel to get through the day, it is the total opposite in Italy.
That is why even the simplest meal will have the freshest and best possible ingredients.
And a lunch could last for five hours.
Which is exactly what happened to us one sunny day this spring.
E and I were on a mission to feast on what the locals have to offer in Campania.
And try to avoid where the tourists would normally be. Even if that means driving for hours to find a special trattoria in the middle of nowhere.
On our way from Puglia to the Amalfi Coast, we drove to a little town called Melito Irpino.
The view on the way was just so breathtaking and relaxing.
It was like being embraced by nature as we were treated to a vast of greens and mountains - the perfect start of the beautiful dishes that await us.
When we entered Trattoria di Pietro, we were greeted by Enzo, his wife Teresa and daughter Anita (I later learned that the beautiful women were manning the kitchen). This is already an institution in the area, handed down from one generation to the next, as it had weathered so much since 1934. One can see this in the pictures that were scattered all over the place - being proud of its heritage and the happy days that it sees through the years.
Enzo was just wonderful and friendly. We did not even look at the menu - we trusted him when he said that he would bring us on a "culinary journey". And oh boy, it was an unforgettable experience. We had one of our best meals. Ever.
The dishes offered reflected the classic and authentic Irpina cuisine and only using fresh local produce.
From the antipasti to the primi, secondi and dolci - the Carciofo Ripieno di Ricotta, Tagliere di Salumi e Pecorino Agli Aromi, Zucca in Agrodolce con Cipolla e Uva Passa, Focaccia al Pomodoro, Minestra Maritata, Ravioli Ripieni di Ricotta al Ragu, Cicatielli con Broccoli, Coniglio alla Cacciatora - everything was just perfection. Enzo was also lovely host who not only explained to us each dish but also special details like where the ingredients are from. Isn't it wonderful to know who produces the cheese that you're eating?
Thank goodness I was smart enough to prepare for the feast with my "strategic non-tight outfit". Because what we thought was going to be a two-hour lunch extended to almost five as we ate and drank our hearts out and laughed with our new-found friends in this 83-year old trattoria.
And even if we caught the nasty rush-hour traffic, we just couldn't care less!
Antica Trattoria di Pietro.
Corso Italia 8 83030 Melito Irpino (AV)
+39 825 472010