|Eating Out||Eating In|
Simple, home-made cuisine. Permeate with the ancient Greek culture and Arabian traditions. Then add Spanish nuances and French delicacies and you begin to experience the delights of Salentine cuisine.
Mediterranean aromas and flavours are characteristic of the Puglian table. From Rosemary, basil, mint, sage, thyme, to hot peppers and more. The aromas wafting from restaurants as you stroll by, tempt the taste buds and excite the appetite. Local olive oil, rich and full of flavour, can only enhance the cuisine of Puglia.
Puglia has been known for it's abundance since the arrival of the Phoenicians and Greeks who found that the land was already populated with competent farmers. Recipes have been handed down for centuries from mother to daughter, the "poor" cuisine of the peasants' but rich in creative intelligence, inspiration and authenticity. Making best use of seasonal available produce, whether it's fish from the Adiatic, fresh flavours from the vegetable garden, newly made bread, pasta - whatever your taste you will be spoilt for choice.
Look out for bruschette with anchovies and sharp ricotta, orecchiette (pasta ears) with tomato and rocket, or traditionally with rape. Great meat and regional fish dishes vie for your attention. And all can be accompanied with local wines, white, rose and red.
Vegetables figure prominently in pastas, soups and salads. So it's not surprising for vegetarians to find a wide choice. Artichokes, zucchini (courgettes), aubergines, roasted peppers, fennel, celery, turnip greens, rocket and the fava, queen of beans, are used extensively. All imaginatively put together in a variety of dishes - you'll be spoilt for choice.
For prima piatti, the home-made pasta made of durum flour, in many different varieties.
- Ricchitelle - little ears of pasta hollowed with smooth blade and turned on the thumb
- Maccheronicini - kneaded with a kind of knitting needle and turned with the palm of the hand
- Sagne Ncannulate - strips of pasta, skilfully twisted
For the secondi, fresh fish from the Ionian and Adriatic seas. Grilled white breams and giltheads. Mullets from Porto Cesareo, baked in paper. For the more adventurous, sea anemones brought in by the fishermen, octopus cooked in the characteristic terra-cotta pot.
And to finish, spuma di cioccolato fondente!
Some of our favourite traditional dishes from Puglia are :
Agnello al cartoccio - lamb chops baked in paper of foil with lampasciuoli and olives
Cozze alla leccese - Mussels baked with oil, lemon and parsley
Melanzane ripiene (Stuffed Aubergine) - Aubergine stuffed with it's own chopped flesh, tomatoes, breadcrumbs, capers, olives and anchovies.