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Fruit of the Sea 2017

Making a local connection

Holly-May Hodgson

Italy

I have returned tired and tanned from four fabulous days in Positano. The sun here is gentle and caressing. I came from winter as white as a mozzarella, and after three days of sun I’m as brown as a berry.
You could say Positano is too beautiful. Every step you take (and I mean that literally, there are SO many steps!) is a stunning postcard before you.
Here began magical days of sun, sea and seafood. I think I can complain of only two things. Italians don’t do prawns. I mean, they do prawns cooked in tomatoes sauce with other ‘fruit of the sea’, they do fried prawns. They don’t do fresh, cooked, cold prawns on a hot day and it is a shame. And the beaches in Positano are rock beaches. No soft sand between your toes. Instead painful rocks underfoot all the way to the water. The plus is that you don’t get sand all stuck to your wet limbs.
However they do have giant squid spaghetti, squid caught that morning at sea and so fresh its as soft and soft can be. They have chilled white wine with huge chunks of peaches in it. And they have ‘Granita al Limone’ which when you explain is ice and lemons doesn’t make the heart race but these are the lemons of Positano, the best lemons in the world. And on a hot day this icy drink has so much thirst quenching flavour you could go to icy heaven.
You cannot legally build new homes in Positano. Although some are built secretly at night. And it’s hard to find the locals amongst the wealthy tourists. However my travel companion has an Uncle and Aunt there, with three sons, who live on the edge of the cliff at the highest point. A house built by night. The three sons fish the fruit of the sea and I get to eat the catch. They own one of the few wooden huts along the main beach and when passing you will always find them mending fishing nets.
Something I did not expect was to be invited to dinner to the home of a Polish family, right in the heart of Positano. We ate a potato stew followed by meat grilled on a small spit in their courtyard. We then drank vodka shots until 2am, the grandma, the grandpa, the daughters, the two fishermen, an Italian and me.
Then sadly the day came to leave beautiful Positano. However coming home to Florence wasn’t so sad. Last night after collecting fresh tomatoes, sage leaves, zucchini, and wild rocket from the garden I made Charred Zucchini Salad with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette for dinner and it was fabulous.


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