I was almost four when my parents left Napoli and emigrated to Chicago. We crossed the Atlantic in an ocean liner, steamer trunks and cases loaded with all our worldly goods. Place of pride among these was their Bialetti Moka pot. Though my German mother and Persian father were not from espresso cultures, their 10 years in Italy meant they’d adopted the habit. my mother recalls how they learned to love the frequent, quick drop standing up at the coffee bar, multiple times per day.
I was obviously too young to imbibe the drink, but once in America, the Moka Pot continued to supply my parents’ love of the beverage. Evenings, after dinner, we’d sit around the kitchen table and my father would pour a shot of coffee over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, crystallizing small chunk bits of it. I was allowed to nosh on this treat, feeding what became my own lifelong love affair with coffee.
Souvenirs de Napoli is my homage to the memory of those early tastes and a family tradition. A blend suited to any brew method, but particularly apt for the Moka pot, espresso or, best of all, to pour over a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Thick-bodied, low in acidity, yet tipped with hints of a kirsch note, it recreates to the best of my ability what I remember of those early coffee treats.