Food

Cuisine of Puglia, from the starter to the dessert

Cucina Pugliese orecchiette - EFW
Written by EFW Staff

Cuisine of Puglia, the relationship with the territory

In the middle of the Mediterranean sea, the strip of land that overseas the sea is part of the region Puglia and boasts a typical Mediterranean cuisine. Simple and tasty, the cuisine of Puglia pays attention to the local products, both of land and sea. Its best dishes, as often happens in Italy, comes from the peasant tradition, and for this reason pretty nourishing and, in the meantime, perfumed and coloured. Thus, a delicacy for the senses.

Bread of Puglia

As an introduction of this section about the typical dishes of the cuisine of Puglia, the product that more than others is well known outside its land of origin could not miss: bread of Puglia. An exceptional product easy to find in all the bakery of Italy but that can be tasted in all its perfection only in Puglia. The main ingredient is the whole-grain flavour, then, there are also the mother dough, marine salt and water as a main ingredient.

Simple ingredients for a great result. Big size (from 0,5 to 3 kg), Apulian bread is characterized by a crispy crust with thickness of no more than 3 mm and inside it, a perfect soft part inside it with a great alveolus and a straw yellow colour. The Apulian bread of Altamura have been the first baked product to receive the DOP label in 2003.

The starters of the cuisine of Puglia

Friselle with tomato and basil. Frisella is another kind of bread typical of Puglia. After a first cooking in the oven, this bread is cut in two, traditionally with a twine, that cause the characteristic roughness of the cut. Thus, it goes another time in the oven to become crispy. As a starter, frisella is served, after being slightly sprinkle with water, seasoned with small dices of tomato, piece of basil leaves, salt and EVO oil of Puglia.

Cozze fritte. Fried mussels. This simple recipe foresees to flour the mussels, passed then on the beaten egg, in the breadcrumbs and finally in a pan, in hot oil.
Cozze “arraganate. Mussels “arraganate”. Keep the mussels inside their half shelf, seasoned with the soft part of bread, garlic, parsley, tomato sauce, salt and a drizzle of oil, thus cook them au gratin in the oven. Finally sprinkle with dry white wine.

The first courses of the Apulian cuisine

Orecchiette with turnip tops are probably one of the most famous dishes of the cuisine of Puglia.
Orecchiette are a kind of pasta of Puglia, made of whole grain flour, water and salt. Knead it and make small thick dishes with the characteristic shape of cupola. Turnip tops are vegetables which cultivation is pretty spread in the region. Boil both orecchiette and turnip tops, then put them in a pan with oil, garlic, salt, pepper, anchovies and hot chilli pepper.
Orecchiette with turnip tops are probably one of the most famous dishes of the cuisine of Puglia.
Orecchiette are a kind of pasta of Puglia, made of whole grain flour, water and salt. Knead it and make small thick dishes with the characteristic shape of cupola. Turnip tops are vegetables which cultivation is pretty spread in the region. Boil both orecchiette and turnip tops, then put them in a pan with oil, garlic, salt, pepper, anchovies and hot chilli pepper.

Second courses

Among the second courses of the Apulian cuisine, we want to mention an exceptional product that is possible to taste it “purely”, given its extraordinary taste: burrata. It is a kind of cheese made of a shell of mozzarella (stringy pasta) shaped as a small “bag”, with cream and mozzarella cuts. It is a product that has to be tasted really really fresh. It has been invented in Andria, as reuse of leftover of mozzarella, at the beginning of ‘900.

Cucina Pugliese mozzarella DOP - EFW

Desserts of the Apulian cuisine

Among the desserts, what better represent the Apulian cuisine, are the so-called “cartellate” or “carteddate”. The result is a dough made of flour, yeast, wine, salt and extra virgin olive oil that is “stretched” in a thin layer. Then, it is cut, with a pastry wheel with rough sides, with stripes of around 2 cm of width, rolled to make like some “roses”. They are fried in abundant hot oil, then drained. At the end, immerse them quickly in hot honey, decorated with powdered sugar and often coloured small pieces of sugar.

Cucina Pugliese dolci - EFW

Imagine sources: 10Rosso, flickr – tomislavmedak, flickr – Antica Locanda Alpina, flickr

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