Thursday, July 21, 2011

Garantito IGP: Pisciotto, Cilento - Rinaldo Merola's Trattoria Angiolina

This time Luciano Pignataro takes the stand:

Inns are dying; long live inns! Our daily lunch is quick, in some cases emerging from vending machines in our workplaces, and in others taken while standing at a bar. And then there are the Agriturismi people frequent because everything they offer is cheap, despite the fact that the food sometimes isn't worth even what little it costs.

In Naples were once a thousand inns, of which no more than a hundred survive. And out in the country they're going under too, one by one.

This is why when one comes across a real, traditional inn, one must go at once. Rinaldo is tall, blond, and blue-eyed, like his mother, who opened the inn not far from the train station in Pisciotta, in the heart of the Cilento region near Capo Palinuro; there's lots of Norman and Lombard blood in these parts, especially in hamlets that were long isolated.

The trattoria opened its doors 50 years ago, first to slake the hunger of the workers building the second track of the Tyrrhenian rail line, and then that of passersby. Tourism, which is reserved and aristocratic in these parts, has allowed the Trattoria Angelina to survive without sacrificing its identity in the slightest.

Here quality is called to compete with home cooking, mastery that transforms food into gastronomic artistry and restaurant portions! Spaghetti with menaica alici (alici are close relatives of sardines), locally caught using the looser-woven nets of an ancient Greek technique that gives extraordinary results, because only the larger fish are caught, is biblical in its volume. And the Alici salad overflows the plate even if one orders a half-portion.

There are also new dishes, for example spectacular mussels and beans.

The Cilentean Sea displays a generosity rarely seen elsewhere: for 10 months out of the year there are fewer than 50,000 people along a hundred kilometers of coastline. The silence of the seasons is a prize for those who love this cuisine.

There is the daily catch, but above all two classic dishes. This first is ciualedda, prepared with the of the Mediterranean: hot peppers, eggplant, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and basil, all seasoned with oil from Pisciottane olives, harvested from huge, centuries-old trees -- there are about 600,000 olive trees Pisciotta, Ascesa, and the nearby towns. The other dish is cauraro, made with fava beans, alici, and wild fennel fronds.

The desserts are by Ivana, Rinaldo's wife.

At Angelina you will find the slow pleasant rhythms of the past, especially if you come in the off season.

30-40 Euros, and wines from Campania and Cilento.

Ristorante Angiolina
Via Passariello, 2
Pisciotta (SA)
Tel. 0974-973188
Closed Sunday evening and Monday
Vacation: November to Easter

Published Simultaneously by IGP, I Giovani Promettenti.

We Are:
Carlo Macchi
Kyle Phillips
Luciano Pignataro
Roberto Giuliani
Stefano Tesi

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