Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Puglia is a land of farmers. It is a fact that 40% of Italy’s agriculture consists of Olives. And it is also a huge producer of durum wheat which is why Puglia is home to various types of pasta and bread including Focaccia bread. The southern region of Puglia is a poor one, with CUCINA POVERA responsible for most Puglian dishes.
Veggies are preferred over the meat, while fish and seafood are enjoyed on the beaches of Puglia. Some of the most famous foods include baked dishes, simple plates of pasta and wilted wild greens such as chicory
Here are some of the lip-smacking dishes of Puglia
Orecchiette is a handmade turnip – top-shaped pasta and one of the most iconic foods in Puglia. The name means "little ears" and the recipe requires the combination of pasta paired with certain veggies. The basic dish includes garlic cloves, red chilli, anchovies, turnip tops and pecorino cheese. However, you can be as creative as you want to with this dish.
To taste the best Orecchiette pasta, you must visit Puglia in winter.
The Grano Arso is an ingredient born out of poverty, which is now mastered by the top chefs of Italy. It is a kind of wheat flour made from the burnt crops of wheat originally collected by locals after the vast durum wheat fields had been razed after the harvest. It has an Earthy flavour which tastes a bit nutty and is used in making bread and pasta – two of the most popular items of Italy.
If you happen to visit Lecce, you must try PASTICCIOTTO LECCESE - a heavenly dessert made of shortcrust pastry, filled with custard and baked in the oven. It is a common dessert in Salento which is located in the southern part of Puglia. For all the Nutella fans out there, you will most definitely appreciate a brown pasticciotto, with cacao added to the pastry and a layer of Nutella under the custard. Is your mouth watering already?
Tiella is an unusual dish made up of layered potatoes, rice and mussels baked in an oven. It is a traditional meal which is still very popular among locals and tourists. The presence of tomato, oregano and onion, makes the Tiella, a colourful and flavoursome recipe of the area. The mussels are left in their shell for you to pick them out. The layered rice steams in white wine in the oven, topped with the breadcrumbs, providing plenty of texture.
Pizzette is a miniature version of Pizza topped with fresh cherry tomatoes. It is eaten as a snack and can be topped with mozzarella cheese and basil which resembles the flag of Italy. It is mini pizza bites with assorted toppings. Some of the combinations of toppings are Tomato Sauce + Mozzarella Cheese + Oregano, Tomato Sauce + Mozzarella Cheese + Anchovy fillet, Tomato Sauce + Mozzarella Cheese + Salami, Tomato Sauce + Black or Green Olives, Mozzarella Cheese* + Prosciutto + Arugula, Potato, thinly sliced + Extra Virgin Olive Oil + Rosemary and so on.
Vinello is not just the wine that is to drink, it is something which is supposed to be celebrated. Every year on the 11th of November, the whole town comes together to taste the fruit of their harvest of wine and to open the bottle from the previous year in the honour of Saint Martin.
Taralli is small and circular, just like pretzels are to Americans. IF you want to get the best of Taralli, try them savoury—made with flavours like fennel, black peppercorns or poppy seeds— with a sweet, a glass of white wine and sugar.
One of the traditional go-to snacks of Puglia is a sandwich made of pizza dough stuffed with meats, cheeses, and/or vegetables. It is called Puccia. The origin of it is the Salento area, both in the province of Brindisi and Lecce. However, it is also commonly known as "PAPOSC" in the province of Foggia.
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Source(s): Ariajourneys, GreatItalianChefs, WalksOfItaly, Basketslifetravel (Image Source), Bloomberg (Image Source)