Saturday, February 20, 2010

Limoncello: Step Five

Today we transferred the limoncello into smaller bottles with rubber stoppers. (Are these not magnificent bottles? Tom found them at the farmers' market this morning–actually inside the Ferry Building at Sur la table.) Now the bottles will go into the freezer.

I had already put one of our mason jars in the freezer yesterday morning, along with 2 tiny glasses. After dinner last night we opened the freezer and tried it. It was like nothing I had ever experienced.

Lying there, she inhaled the perfumed scent of her body and clothes. Before coming to the Bendoro's house, she had never dreamed there could be such a refreshing scent. In her village, no matter where one went, there was only one odor, that of fish and the salty sea.

She recalled that her father had once rescued a man lost at sea. The people of the village had nursed the man to health. They had given him food and clothing and herbal medicines to speed his recuperation. What was his name? She couldn't remember now, but he had told her about flowers and how perfumes could be derived from them. But in her village on the coast she had never come across a flower that smelled so good.

That was from The Girl From the Coast, a book Lucille gave me Tuesday. I remembered that passage when we tried the limoncello–it's how I felt drinking the limoncello! I thought I had tasted and smelled every flavor until last night.

What I don't understand is, how could such a flavor (and color) come from the very outside part of the lemon peel? No lemon juice is used at all, only the peel.