Monday, 14 April 2014


While I was browsing the fruit section of the supermarket the other day, I spotted these yellow beauties. It wasn't just the size of the lemons which drew my attention but the small label showing that they were from Sorrento. I was immediately transported back to May 2003 and the Bay of Naples...

These were pre-blogging and pre-digital camera days so this photo of a photo isn't great but you get the idea. It's one of the best holidays we've ever had - a perfect mixture of sun, sea, scenery, stunning architecture and rich, amazing history. I was in heaven exploring the streets of Sorrento, Pompeii and Herculaneum, and almost literally in heaven at the top of Mt Vesuvius. There are very few places I'd go back to - too many places, too little time - but this is definitely one of them.

The locals are very proud of their lemons and you find them decorating all kinds of souvenirs - I came back with a tile and fridge magnet. We also saw them decorating these children during a school parade.

The lemons are much larger and juicier than standard lemons. Just look at the width of the pith on this one!

Apparently 60% of the harvest is reserved to make limoncello, for which Sorrento is also famous. Mine was made using Sophie Grigson's recipe from Sunshine Foods: lemon peel, vodka, sugar and water.

Of course, I couldn't let those gorgeous lemons go to waste so I made a cake. It's based on the Orange & white chocolate cake by Lynn Hill in the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook*. You can find the recipe here and where it says use orange juice/zest, substitute lemon. And, instead of Cointreau, I used my homemade limoncello.

Lemon is probably my all-time favourite flavour and the smell as I juiced and grated was just amazing. Summer and sunshine. The cake tasted pretty good too!

All those holiday memories and more still to make. When I arrived home with my Italian lemons, our tickets for Verona had arrived! Fluttery tummies all round. Only 21 sleeps to go. Me, excited? Whatever gave you that impression :)

*If you haven't got this cookbook, I highly recommend it. There are so many interesting sounding recipes, I want to make practically all of them!


  1. I have to ask, which supermarket? We went to Sorrento last year and I would love to re live the experience again with some lemons from there! Glad that they bought back such great memories for you and that you had such a good time when you went there. xx

    1. It was good old Asda - hope you manage to find some. X

  2. That cakes looks so good, so do they lemons.

  3. That cake looks amazing Julie - as does the Limencello - I have always rather fancied making some of that so I think I may give it a go! Jane x

  4. Mmm, I love lemons, it's one of my favourite flavours too. Just the smell of them when you zest them...heaven. I went to Sorrento in 2005 for a work conference of all things, and was only there for a few days but thought is was totally beautiful and I'd love to return some day. x

  5. Julie,
    This is something else we have in common, I LOVE LEMONS! Always have loved the smell and the color and they are the BEST to have on hand, perfect for so much in cooking! I would love to make that cake but would have to adapt it to gluten free!
    Now, Sorrento is another place that I dream of visiting! So I thank you for this post! xx