It was time for dessert at J Kitchen and he brought it to my table.
He, Chef Eduardo Estatico, came out of the kitchen to see how I was doing and gently placed down a colorful narrow rectangular dish in front of me.
L'Oro di Napoli, he said. The Gold of Naples.
The Italian film from the 1950s of the same name instantly came to mind. A classic which starred some of the top Neapolitan actors of the era such as Toto', Sophia Loren, Eduardo De Fillipo, and Vittorio De Sica. This dish in front of me had some Neapolitan stars as well. Three to be exact and I took awhile to decide where I wanted to begin as Estatico and I made some small talk.
Decided. I reached for my fork and dove in.
Ah, you chose the baba' to begin with, Estatico noticed.
I smiled and nodded, my mouth full of tiny fragoline strawberries..
Next up, I went for the small sweet zeppola di San Giuseppe or Saint Joseph fritter. Sure you can save a few calories if you have the baked version, but the fried version, like this one was so good!
The film is divided into short episodes- 6 in the original Italian version, 4 in the version released in the states. Each part of the film has its own storyline, its own message, its own flavor.
Exactly like the chef's dessert. And I was about finish it off.
The last episode so to speak was presented in a miniature mason jar. The sfogliatella riccia. The delicious gorgeous cream of the Neapolitan star was not enclosed in the shell shaped curly filo pastry that it is famous for. That was sprinkled on top.
No, for this dessert, all I needed was a spoon. The chef added a strip of candied lemon peel.
The chef...the chef? I looked up and he was on his way back to the kitchen.
In fact, thinking back, I remember a quick smile, hearing him say buon appetito at one point somewhere between my zeppola and my sfogliatella.
Along with my view of Marina Grande.
Of a distant Mt Vesuvius.
And of The Gold of Naples