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.

10 comments:

  1. It's all about the unexpected - life.

    Found you via Chloe ...

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  2. ...so that it makes the whole paying procedure a little less hard?...

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  3. Not a fan of paying rent to my stronza landlady (the place is falling apart) but maybe it wouldn't be so bad if I had to go to a limocello factory or perhaps a place where they made Blahnik shoes. :)

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  4. I make mandarine jam as we have such a surplus and the peel has a wonderful aroma. Delicious on warmed croissants.

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  5. what an idyllic life you have! Well...rent is a little pain-in-the-a__, but perhaps you enhale some of the alcohol fumes and it helps the medicine go down, so to speak :-)

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  6. maybe a nip or 2 of limoncello each time you pay could make it feel worthwhile

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  7. ditto, must be so much nicer to have to pay the rent in Positano?
    Tell me, is your weather this year as unpredictable as ours in northern France?

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  8. I know what you mean! I never thought I would be bringing up my son (who now speaks better Italian than English) in a city apartment without a garden! Oh well, on the whole life is good.

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  9. Is limoncello that REALLY strong stuff that practically knocks you out with one sip? Or am I just a lightweight? Haha.

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