Sorrento culinary tradition has very ancient origins, in some cases going back to the time of the Greeks, and its success is undoubtely due to its strategic geographic position, as lying between land and sea, to the fertility of its land and its wonderful climate which allows the cultivation of a lot of products, of unique and incomparable genuineness, such as citrus fruits, oranges and lemons, walnuts, tomatoes, vineyards and olive-trees, which all together make up one of the main characteristics of the landscape. The natural characteristics of these products are then combined with the mastery of great chefs who try to guarantee, to all visitors, a cooking of great variety and deliciousness, made with passion and fantasy. Just because used to accommodate thousands of visitors, famous artists, noble families ad vips, Sorrento Coast has developed a kind of restoration ready to satisfy any kind of taste, going from the delicacies of the typical local cooking to those of the nouvelle cousine, and from those of the Mediterranean cooking to international wine-gastronomy. All this, yet, not neglecting the rules of healthy eating, so much recommended by doctors and nutritionists, through the choice of genuine ingredients, which are also tasty and inviting.
Among the most famous and delicious first courses we can remember the well-known gnocchi alla sorrentina, tasty potato gnocchi flavoured with tomato, basil and local mozzarella cheese, which in Sorrento has the shape of a plait. The same flavouring is also used for the inviting ravioli alla caprese, prepared with fresh pasta filled wth ricotta. A scented local basil, combined with Sorrento tomatoes and vaccine mozzarella cheese produced in the Peninsula, are the simple but delicious ingredients of the famous caprese salad, known and appreciated all over the world. Most of the typical local products are seasoned with extra vergine olive oil D.O.P. produced in the Coast and having a sweet and light flavour.
The richness of the land allows the presence of a lot of arboreus cultivations which, besides being one of the main picturesque characteristics of the landscape, allow the production of fruits which are real icons of Sorrento Coast, like the well-known lemons of Sorrento. This fruit, which has achieved the acknowledgement of the Igp in November 2000 for its excellent qualities, is at the basis of economy and allows the making of various products and recipes such as that of the famous Sorrento Limoncello. It is a lemon of medium-large sizes, of elliptic shape, with a beautiful yellow peel, which is very perfumed, and has a particularly juicy and acid pulp. Moreover, this cultivation has also a biological importance, because lemon groves offer these places remarkable advantages, like that of the environmental protection: in occupying also the steepest sides, sometimes with slopes making their cultivation very difficult, in fact, they contribute to preventing soil from geological instability. Very important is also the production of oranges and the one of the famous walnuts of Sorrento which have ancient origins, too, and they are told to have been thrown, in the past, to married couples on the day of their wedding as a sign of good luck and prosperity. There are two main kinds of nuts of Sorrento, one with a long, regular shell which is lightly pointed on top and bevelled on its base, and the other which is roundish and smaller. Also for nuts, which are appreciated by anyone and by confectionery industries, for the peculiarity of their kernel, which even when taken out, remains undamaged, it is possible to prepare various gastronomical recipes and a particular digestive liqueur, the so-called Nocillo. Also the sea lapping Amalfi Coast and Sorrento Coast is particularly generous: fish and crustaceans are, in fact, important protagonists of gastronomy, used by local chefs to prepare delicious recipes like lobster, simply boiled or cooked in tomato sauce, octopus casserole, crayfish that is fried with or without a light breading, and crab soup. The vineyards located in Sorrento territory produce white wines which are much appreciated, like the Aglianico and the Falanghina, going well with first and second courses based on fish, the red of Sorrento and the Gragnano, instead, go well with dishes based on meat and delicious local dairy products and sausages. Along the coastline of Sorrento, finally, it is possible to taste the fantastic Neapolitan cakes, in particular the delicious rum babà with or without cream, the lemon delizia, the famous Neapolitan pastiera and the inimitable caprese pie, both with almonds and with lemon.