Did you know that Apulia supplies 80% of the entire world production of pasta and extra virgin olive oil? And that every single olive tree here is protected by UNESCO? Or that along the streets of old Bari every Sunday women delight in making “orecchiette” at home?
Apulia: a region that has always been in the top 10 destinations preferred by wine lovers, is also the land of the Mediterranean diet: orecchiette, of course, but also burrata, Altamura bread, friselle with tomato and then vegetables to no end. On the table there is a triumph of flavors!
Greeks, Byzantines, Arabs, Swabians, Aragonese and Spaniards influenced cuisine, along with architecture and language. The products are as simple as genuine. Here a little bit of durum wheat is enough to produce the classic Apulian loaf, or to work a few ingredients to create the famous taralli, or to collect the products of the earth to have an extra virgin olive oil that the whole world envies in this region. Ask for the Puccia or the Friselle and you will understand what we are talking about. Be amazed with a Burrata di Andria.
But, the dish that most represents Puglia is certainly the “Orecchiette“. They come from a distant tradition of when pasta was made at home. A tradition that still lives on in many families, which is handed down from generation to generation. Because this is attachment to good food but also to one’s own land. And it must be defended!
Try also the “Ciceri e tria“, in Salento. The recipe is so old that it was also mentioned by Horace: a pasta and chickpeas, with the track fried in a pan, which will win you over. Ask for the “Sagne ‘ncannulate“, for twisted noodles. We are in the Lecce area. You can also find the flavors of this land in a simple, so to speak, Apulian soup, prepared with onions, tomatoes, aromas and slices of stale bread.
Bread balls are consumed as an appetizer, but also as a second course. Another typical dish that comes from the peasant world and that was once used to recycle stale bread. The “bowler“, fantastic and absolutely to taste, are another specialty of this region. They are veal rolls stuffed with caciocavallo, they are eaten at the table but now they are also an excellent street food!
Dive into the Apulian sea: it is here that the raw material for the Gallipolina fish soup, the octopus with the piñata, the stuffed mussels which in Taranto are a delicious second course stuffed with breadcrumbs soaked before being cooked in a bathroom of tomato sauce to lick anyone’s mustache!
Here you will be served peppers in all sauces, and sauces, but boiled, in salads or fried on the plate, lampascioni, which are similar to a small onion, often end up there.
The grand finale? Leave it at Pasticiotto, a typical dessert from Salento. It is prepared with shortcrust pastry and custard. Even the Bocconotti are made with shortcrust pastry but here the cream can be replaced with jam and chocolate. In Foggia you will have to wait for Christmas to taste the Cartellate … the sheet is wrapped on itself and in the end you will find yourself a delicious fried rose to put in your mouth!