Capri: the sun-kissed Italian island off the coast of Sorrento known for its tall rocky cliffs, green terraced hills, citrus groves, and the turquoise Blue Grotto. What a place to explore and eat!
During a recent trip to Rome and Naples, I spent a day exploring the landscape of this Mediterranean island. And of course I’m stating the obvious when I say that eating caprese food was of prime importance. When I landed on Capri, I knew two things for certain: (1) this island is beautiful and (2) my first food venture would be a caprese sandwich. Thanks to my forward planning I knew exactly where I was going to get one: Salumeria da Aldo.
When you dock at Marina Grande in Capri, the waterfront is lined with restaurants and cafés vying for the attention and business of the newly arrived. Hosts and hostesses stand in front of café patios eagerly dishing out compliments to passersby and informing them of menu options in the hopes of luring in customers.
In the midst of all this hustle and bustle, there is a small shop with a yellow awning. There’s no seating and there’s no one in front of it inviting you to come in for a special deal. When walking through the marina, you probably wouldn’t even look at it twice.
But here’s the thing: you should look at it twice AND you should go in. At first glance, Salumeria da Aldo is a mere convenience shop selling drinks and snacks. However, there is a deli counter at the back which is invisible from the outside. Here you can order a caprese sandwich that will start your day on an authentic and delicious note.
Be warned: there’s no sign advertising that they make sandwiches. You just have to ask. The deli counter has a selection of meats and cheeses that could easily steer you away from your caprese sandwich mission. But resist! Stay focused! This is no time for sidetracking!
When I ordered “un caprese per favore”, the sandwich maker behind the counter cut in half a fresh mini baguette and layered it with sliced tomatoes which were marinating in olive oil and basil in a glass dish (clearly homemade!). He then cut slices of fresh mozzarella to layer on top of the tomatoes and he finished it all off with a few leaves of fresh basil. He wrapped it up, I paid a mere 4 euros, and I was on my merry way.
I was SO excited to dig in to this fresh caprese sandwich and in Capri itself! Food right from the source! What a dream! So many exclamation points here (all justified)!
I ate my sandwich under the sun at the marina while I waited to embark on a boat tour of the island. Though it consisted of only a few simple ingredients, the sandwich was fantastic. There truly is a subtle beauty in simple food. The tomatoes were fresh and flavourful, the mozzarella cheese was soft, the basil leaves were earthy and refreshing, and the bread had the ideal combination of crunchy crust and soft interior.
Needless to say, this caprese sandwich was the perfect way to start my day in Capri. I’m so glad that I knew about this place ahead of time (proof that research pays off!) and now that you know about it too, make sure that when you arrive in Capri, you visit this little unassuming deli as an introduction to caprese food. You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t! Salumeria da Aldo proves that you don’t need to be flashy or attention-seeking to get business. Instead, fresh ingredients will do just fine.