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I recently spent three days on the Amalfi Coast at the relais where we have our best-selling culinary vacation Mediterranean Cooking Experience. Since my return, many have asked me: what’s was your favorite part of your Amalfi trip? At first it was a little difficult to say. How could I possibly pick a favorite aspect of the trip when the whole experience from the hotel, to the food, to the shopping, to the breathtaking scenery was a once in a lifetime opportunity?
When we first arrived at Rosa’s farm, we were greeted by her gregarious son, Antonio, who took us into his mother’s kitchen. You could feel the charm that the kitchen had to offer as soon as you walked in. The way in which the kitchen is set up specifically to make cheese was captivating as well. I had never seen pots and pans built into the stove like they were in Rosa’s kitchen.
Although Rosa did not speak English, she didn’t have to in order to communicate with us. Her skillful hands and calming demeanor were all we needed in order to learn how to make mozzarella cheese with her. She was very patient with all of us, even though I’m sure she wanted to cringe at the novice cheese-making mistakes we were making!
After we made the mozzarella, Antonio took us for a walk through their olive and lemon farm. What a breathtaking, peaceful site! The lemons were bigger and brighter than any I have ever seen! And, better yet, they tasted just as good as they looked.
After our tour of the farm, we were lucky enough to enjoy a platter of the cheese that we created as well as other delicious items that Rosa and Antonio make on the farm…olive oil, sausage and bread, just to name a few.
I can’t imagine all of the work that Rosa, Antonio and the rest of his family must put into maintaining their land. They take such pride in all that they provide.
Rosa no longer offers her cheese making class as part of our Mediterranean Cooking Experience, but we still an experience just as amazing – or maybe even more so – at a local family farm. Learn more about that adventure in the “footsteps of Ulysses” and discover the life of the locals during this unique and authentic experience!
Make sure to take a look at our cooking vacation Mediterranean Cooking Experience on the Amalfi Coast!
By Kerry Herbst
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Originally published April 30, 2013.