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Friday, September 28, 2018

Late Night Rome:: Il Lemoncocco di Roma

Lemoncocco.  It's a non-alcoholic drink, made up of (not surprisingly) lemon juice and coconut juice.  It's tangy and delicious--and, quoting Jack Kerouac's description of his apple-pie diet while On the Road-- "nutritious of course."

There's more to Lemoncocco's attraction than the taste.  The concoction comes with a certain mystique.  To our knowledge, it's available in only one place in Rome, a kiosk on the northeast corner of Piazza Quadrata (square piazza, formally Piazza Buenos Aires) in the Salario quarter.  Known as Il Lemoncocco di Roma (the business dating to 1946), the kiosk shimmers with mystery late at night, when it's usually the only business open on the piazza.

Below, that's Dianne at the counter, enjoying her Lemoncocco while chatting up the only employee.  A plate of coconut pieces sits atop the lemons.

At that hour, and on the morning break, some of its customers are city workers, clad in orange uniforms.  Others are couples, sharing the late-night romance of the place.

And Il Lemoncocco not only appears inviting looking in, but it has a commanding view of the piazza and of the trams that run on viale Liegi.  The car at right is on via Po.

The recipe for Lemoncocco would seem simple, but it may not be.  A newspaper article posted at Il Lemoncocco notes that an American company had taken the "recipe" and put out its own
Lemoncocco, in a can!  Il Lemoncocco di Roma responded by saying the recipe was a secret, not to be divulged; the recipe's contents had been registered with the authorities, and the drink would be defended.

So maybe there's more to the drink than lemon and coconut. 


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