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If you’ve joined one of our culinary tours in Naples, then you know well the charms of the Neapolitan kitchen and pantry. Pizza – Naples’ most famous creation – has rightfully gone on to conquer the world and the chances are good that you’ve had a pretty decent pizza margherita delivered to your home in the last few months. But there’s much more to Naples and the surrounding Campania region than pizza, which is what inspired us to create our Backstreet Naples Box.
Carefully assembled from the stops on our local culinary tour, this box brings you the best products of the city, all packed in a cloth tote bag bearing CB’s unique Naples city icon. Coming from the hands of backstreet producers and the artisanal food shops of Naples, all the items in the box offer authentic tastes of Naples and help support local, independent businesses.
As drinking coffee in Naples is a ritual performed several times a day at beloved cafe bars around town, among them the evocatively-named Mexico, from which we’ve included a package of freshly roasted and ground coffee to help you start your day the Neapolitan way, with a cup of coffee that’s short, strong and piping hot. From the Capuana market, outside the city gates, we’ve gathered a number of unique products, including a package of freselle, twice-baked bread, from the 5th-generation baker Antonio di Paolo to assemble you own own caponata – a kind of bread salad that uses the freselle as a base. We wish we could send fresh piennolo tomatoes from Vesuvius, the agricultural gem of the region, but instead we are sending a soulful sauce – which has earned protected status in Campania – made from those special tomatoes by Ciro Curcio, a small local organic producer. Finally, we couldn’t shop for you in the Capuana market without stopping to see Pasquale, the last sign painter in Naples. From him we “commission” a hand-painted sign specially made for you with whatever word you like- the first name of a friend or family member makes for a great gift!
Moving inside the city walls, we visit the ovens of the Tozzi bakery for a pack of taralli, a savory biscuit flavored with black pepper and almond, the ultimate snack of Naples, one that’s equally suitable for housewarming parties, romantic nights, beach days and soccer matches. From the obscure side of the Neapolitan pantry, we’ve sourced a bottle of artisanal Colatura di Alici – a direct descendant of garum, the ancient fish sauce beloved by the Romans – made with anchovies caught by the fishermen of Cetara on the Amalfi coast. While the Romans spiked their wine with this feisty sauce, we’ll send along some more updated suggestions for its use. To add a sweet note, we picked up a package of Biscotti di Castellammare, a traditional cookie made by a small family-run bakery in the Gulf of Naples town of Castellammare di Stabia, famed for its baked goods. Of course, no taste of Naples would be complete without pasta, but the one in this box is not your everyday Barilla spaghetti. This pacchero pasta, made using old-fashioned methods by the artisanal producer Faella, is the ideal vehicle for tomato sauce topped with ricotta cheese.
We hope this box brings the taste of Naples to your table, until you can join us here, in person, to share a pizza!