Friday, May 4
how to make limoncello
As I walked into the limoncello factory the sweet tangy aroma of mandarins hit me full on. I looked around; there were crates of mandarins everywhere, stacked in towers all around the room. The landlady was there, peeling mandarins. She saw me and put down her knife and a half peeled fruit and came to greet me. We went upstairs to her house to pay her the rent and bills that we owed, a quick transaction which left a small pile of brightly coloured banknotes on her dining table and a gaping hole in my wallet.
Back in the factory downstairs I watched as the simple procedure of making mandarin liqueur was carried out. The recipe is the same as that used for making limoncello:
The fruits are peeled and the peel is left to soak for four days in alcohol. A mixture of sugar and water is then added and the liquid is put in a mixing vat and mixed for about 2 or 3 hours..and that’s it, you have a potent after dinner liqueur, or as the Italians prefer to call it a little drink to aid the digestion.
I was concerned about the fruit of the mandarins. Were they just going to throw away all that fruit? No, I was reassured that it would all be made into jam. I was offered one of the fruits to eat but refused. Carlo took one and was soon discreetly spitting numerous pips into his hand as he tried to hold a conversation about the various machine parts needed for bottling.
When I was younger I always imagined that I would have my own little house by the time I had children. It never occured to me that I might have to rent, and I certainly never imagined that every time I went to hand over my money it would be in a limoncello factory where I could watch and learn how to make fruit liqueurs.
at 2:10 PM