Rece rock: I see Naples and then fatten

You know the saying “see Naples and then die“? Me unlike Goethe I see Naples and then fattenso much so that every time on my return I am forced to plan a visit to the nearest shop Pitran Plus Sizes. It is in fact sufficient to get off the train and leave the Napoli Centrale station to find yourself immediately catapulted into a Dante’s circle made of pastry shops, takeawayspizzerias and trattorias that seem to have been conceived by Dr. Nowzaradan from Lives to the Limit and its accountants. Not even the time to stretch my legs and light the first cigarette (strictly contraband) which I immediately get sucked into pastry shop in front of the station, Hearts of Sfogliatella, where they bake sfogliatelle and babà at the same speed as a hippocampus gives birth. From here begins my Neapolitan tour, with the mustache and the collar of the jacket already whitened with powdered sugar. I practically look like Tony Montana in Scarface.

Of course, you can’t visit this beautiful city without eating at least one pizza a day. It would be a bit like going to the island of Favignana and staying in a two-star hotel to swim in an inflatable pool. There are many places where you can eat excellent Neapolitan pizza, the one that for us Romans has a high cornice like the edge of an inflatable boat Cape Horn Night Hawk 200. One of the places of worship of the real Neapolitan pizza is obviously From Gino and Toto Sorbillo, where usually the queue to enter is reminiscent of the one at the Roma Nord toll booth on August 31 after returning from holidays. Instead, taking advantage of a time that even a Dane would have considered too early for a dinner, I can easily enter and find a table on the second floor. Without wasting time and to immediately recover the loss of calories due to the stairs, I order one fried pizza stuffed with ricotta, basil, fiordilatte and Neapolitan cicoli (ie solid residues of boiled and drained pork fat) which has the shape and weight of an old Tolfetan bag, the one that was fashionable among the freaks of the 70s. Not bad as an appetizer. Not happy, I decide to try the pizza Devil it (with Faicchio salami, organic tomato, chilli pepper, buffalo mozzarella, parmesan, basil, olive oil) which has the circumference of a hula hoop and that freaks me out as if one of the aforementioned freaks had served me a card soaked in LSD. Also there Adriana pizza (with organic tomato, ricotta, buffalo mozzarella, basil, olive oil) is spectacular and I would like to get up and scream his name as Sylvester Stallone in Rocky after the meeting against Apollo Creed.

L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele it is another obligatory stop to eat there real Neapolitan pizza. Here, too, there is usually a row comparable to the one you would do in Przemyl to slap Matteo Salvini, but also this time thanks to the time when not even a Poor Clare from a convent in Assisi would eat, I can find a place. Each table is named after one of the celebrities who visited the pizzeria and I am assigned the Jude Law. In me they must have seen the obvious resemblance to the English actor or, more likely, Bombolo never came to eat a pizza here. The menu, skinny and proof of senile dementia, provides only 4 types of pizza (margherita, marinara, Cossack and marita) and 3 drinks (Coca-Cola, Fanta and Nastro Azzurro beer). After a classic and very good margherita, which I ate with the same speed with which I dribbled just before the illegal ghost sellers in Via dei Tribunali, I wanted to try the famous Cossack pizza (with tomato, grated pecorino instead of mozzarella, basil and oil). It seems that the first name derives from the stay made in Sicily and Naples by Tsar Nicholas I and his wife Aleksandra Fёdorovna as guests of the Bourbons. In fact, it seems that the tsarina was ill with tuberculosis and needed a warmer climate than the harsh one in Petersburg. She actually recovered from tuberculosis but, by dint of eating arancini and pizzas, she returned home with the body of a Matryoshka and suffering from cholesterolemia. The bill, in both pizzerias, does not exceed 15 euros per person. I spent more on filling up my scooter last week.

During the Easter period, the already generous Neapolitan cuisine is enriched with some essential elements such as mussel soup (actually inside there are also octopus, shrimps and cuttlefish) flavored with tomato, garlic and parsley. Crispy bread or taralli is added to the bottom of the plate, which however will not prevent you from asking for two more loaves of bread to make the shoe in the broth. Being greedy for any type of mollusc, I began my spasmodic search for this dish with the same enthusiasm with which Fantozzi, having learned of his imminent death, goes from Gennaro O ‘Vibrione to eat four kilos of raw mussels. I was able to try this traditional soup in two places well known and recommended by the Neapolitans themselves. At the At ‘Taverna Do’ Rea well-known family-run restaurant a stone’s throw from the Maschio Angioino, I ate an excellent one, with a sensational broth in which I immersed myself like a diver who has to walk on the seabed.

Once I got to the surface and removed the diving suit, I wanted to try the i too Mezzanine of Gragnano Neapolitan Genoese style, whose name is a geographical supercazzola that derives from the probable presence of Genoese cooks in Neapolitan land in the seventeenth century. It is a creamy white ragù pasta made with a ton of onion. Amazing, even if after eating it your breath will make the Malagrotta landfill look like a lavender field. Another dish of the Neapolitan tradition are the spaghetti alla luciana with octopus sauce cooked in an earthenware pan with plenty of garlic. I liked it a lot, even though the splashes of gravy make my T-shirt look like Eddie Van Halen’s guitar. To follow, an excellent roasted cod with broccoli and, to honor the upcoming holy Easter, a slice of homemade pastiera for dessert.

The second mussel soup I ate in a historic business in Via Foria, To Figlia d’o Marenarorenowned restaurant always open, with modern, sumptuous and refined furnishings, led by the famous and very elegant Assunta Pacific. The menu is as long and enthralling as a Stephen King novel and choosing from this boundless variety of fish dishes puts me as anxious as a bomb squad who has to decide which line to cut to defuse a bomb. The atmosphere is a bit hectic, there is a constant coming and going and you can be served by a dozen highly efficient waiters without having time to get attached to any of them. The only fixed presence at the tables is that of the inevitable neo-melodic singer who, if you have the unfortunate idea of ​​giving him twine, will remain attached to your ears pouring out Neapolitan classics for at least half an hour. Fortunately, my expression is impassive from moai of Rapa Nui combined with my ill-concealed poverty made him give up immediately and I was able to taste in peace what everyone believes is the best mussel soup in Naples. According to all but one. Compared to the one I ate the day before, I found it a little bland and a little too much dry, so much so that to make the shoe I used only one slice of bread. A bad record for me. I observed that little sauce with the same melancholy expression with which I usually look at the few milliliters of wine poured into my glass during a tasting.

But the biggest disappointment comes shortly after, when one of the six hundred passing waiters tells me that the razor clams are finished, for a kilo of which I would be willing to sell my mother and a couple of aunts. After crying like Dan Harrow on the Island of the Famous, I took heart with a very good one soutè of sea truffles (obviously I did not know they were bivalve molluscs similar to clams with a shell as thick and hard as a diamond in a 60’s bathroom) which deserved a meticulous shoe and a cleaning of the plate that not even a Bosch Series 4 dishwasher would have obtained. As a first course I wanted to try the paccheri with crab, good and delicate, even if I had to ask for a thermal lance to open the shell of the crustacean and eat the pulp. As a second I opted for a very tasty fried seafood served in a cuoppothat is a paper cone the size of a 1950s movie director’s megaphone.

After such a meal, it would be ideal to take a long walk to dispose of at least a third of the accumulated calories, but a Naples it’s impossible. Numerous along the way ovens And street food stalls they attract me as Ulysses was by the song of the sirens. Not having found a mast to tie me to on the street, I felt the duty to taste one pasta omelette (usually bucatini with bechamel, cooked ham and peas), a Neapolitan sandwich (filled with salami, cicoli, hard-boiled eggs and cheese) and, again to honor Holy Easter, a mini casatiello. In practice, the only siren I have risked hearing is that of the ambulance, in the direction of the Cardarelli Hospital. My tour ends instead with the sad return to the Central Station after three days of pure culinary libido and my return to Rome makes me feel a bit like Cicciolina after going through menopause.

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