What To Eat In Puglia?

Known as the heel of Italy’s boot-shaped peninsula, Puglia boasts a rich agricultural tradition, leading to a cuisine based on locally grown ingredients and time-honored recipes brimming with rustic charm. So, let’s embark on this flavorful journey and explore the must-eat dishes of Puglia.

Puglia Italy

 

 

Top 3 Pasta Dishes To Eat In Puglia

Puglia’s pasta game is strong, and three dishes stand out above the rest.

First, the region’s most iconic pasta, Orecchiette, named after its shape that resembles a small ear.

This has a slightly domed sides with thinner centres, which gives it a unique texture – soft in the middle and slightly chewy on the outside.

 

turnip tops pesto pasta

The typical regional recipe combines orecchiette with “Cime di rapa” – a variety of broccoli from Puglia. However, orecchiette pasta is also ideal for tomato and vegetable based sauces, like Cannonata (another Puglia delicacy).


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  Turnip tops pesto  orecchiette  Cannonata

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Second, Cavatelli, small pasta shells typically served with hearty meat or tomato and cacio ricotta cheese sauces.

Lastly, Sagne ‘ncannulate, a spiraled, long pasta customarily paired with tomato or ragus.

 

Traditional Dishes To Eat in Puglia

Orecchiette with cime di rapa
Taralli with your aperitivo
Panzerotti
Focacccia Barese
Pasticciotti Leccesi
Fave e cioria
Puccia Pugliese
Sagne ncannulate al sugo di pomodoro
Braciole al sugo
Zuppa di pesce Tarantina
Polpette di pane
Cavatelli con ragu di polpo

 

Puglia’s traditional dishes are a testament to its vibrant culinary history and Mediterranean influences. Considered the emblem of Puglian cuisine, we have already spoken about Orecchiette with Cime di Rapa.

Taralli are a cracker like bread from Puglia

Taralli, crispy ring-shaped biscuits, are a staple of Puglian aperitivo.

 

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Stock Up On Taralli For Snacks & Aperitivo Time

 Traditional tarallipizza taralliMediterranean taralli  Fennel Taralli
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For a taste of Puglia’s street food, don’t miss Panzerotti, deep-fried turnovers filled with tomatoes and mozzarella, and Focaccia Barese, a soft, olive-oil drizzled flatbread often topped with tomatoes or olives.

Pasticciotti Leccesi, sweet pastry filled with custard, is a local favorite you’d find in Lecce.

 

 

fave e cicoria from puglia

For an authentic Puglian vegetarian main course, try Fave e cicoria, a simple stew of broad beans with chicory.

 

Puccia Pugliese, a sandwich made from pizza dough, and Sagne ‘ncannulate al sugo di pomodoro, spiraled pasta with tomato sauce, are not to be missed.

Meat lovers mustn’t skip the tender Braciole al sugo, rolled meat simmered in tomato sauce. Seafood enthusiasts will savor the Zuppa di pesce Tarantina, a Taranto-style fish soup, and Cavatelli con ragu di polpo, pasta with octopus ragu.

And for those who love bread-based dishes, Polpette di pane, bread balls, are a must-try.

 

 

Eat This For Lunch in Puglia

When lunchtime rolls around in Puglia, reach for a regional classic: the Puccia.

puccia pugliese or salentina

Originating from the Salento area and the City of Taranto in Puglia, this iconic bread is a vital feature of the local gastronomic landscape. It is characterized by its round shape, crispy exterior, and hollow interior, which makes it ideal for stuffing with a variety of fillings.

La Puccia Salentina is crafted using a simple list of ingredients: flour, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt, water, and yeast. The result is a pagnotta or round loaf, devoid of the usual bread crumb, or ‘mollica’, setting the stage for an array of delicious fillings.

The typical Puglian approach to filling a Puccia involves a symphony of local deli cuts, cheeses, meats, and vegetables. Seafood, like tuna or octopus, also makes for an excellent stuffing, offering a refreshing taste of the Mediterranean. A particularly delectable combination involves tuna, capers, provolone cheese, cherry tomatoes, anchovies, assorted cold cuts, and a variety of cheeses.

 

 

Love Pizza? Try These 2 Street Delicacies in Puglia.

If your heart beats for pizza, you’ll fall in love with Focaccia Barese and Panzerotto. Focaccia Barese offers an Apulian twist on traditional focaccia, while Panzerotto, often dubbed as ‘Italian calzone,’ ensnares your palate with its deep-fried, cheesy, tomato-packed goodness.

Focaccia Barese from Puglia

Focaccia Barese

Focaccia Barese stands out with its unique dough, a blend of finely ground semolina flour and the quintessential “00” pizza flour, with the addition of a little mashed potato. This unconventional ingredient imparts an extra fluffiness to the dough, setting the stage for the toppings. Prepared in a round metal baking pan, the dough is adorned with fresh, uncooked tomatoes and olives, a sprinkle of oregano, and a generous drizzle of olive oil. The result is a heavenly treat, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and exploding with Mediterranean flavors.

Panzerotto from Puglia

Panzerotto

On the other hand, Panzerotto is a savory delight that can be likened to a fried pizza pocket. Shaped into the form of a crescent, this delicacy is made from pizza dough, filled with delectable ingredients like mozzarella and tomato or ricotta and ham. It is then typically deep-fried in olive oil, although some variants are also baked. The end product is a bite-sized bundle of joy, with a crispy exterior giving way to a molten, flavor-packed filling. This Puglia street food classic is sure to enchant any pizza-loving palate. Try our baked recipe.

 

 

Best Ways To Enjoy Taralli in Puglia

Taralli, Puglia’s beloved crunchy snack, are versatile and pair delightfully with a variety of treats. Enjoy them with a glass of local wine during aperitivo, dip them into a tangy cannonata, or savor with sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes. They’re also delightful when dipped in high-quality EVOO.

 

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Where to buy the best Taralli in Puglia?

This is difficult one to answer, as there are so many tasty ones. Our favourites, other than our own of course, are from these two Gambero Rosso awarded bakeries: Panificio Adriatico in Bari & Lula in Trani.

 

 

No. 1 Dessert To Eat in Puglia

When it comes to Puglian desserts, Pasticciotto Leccese tops the chart. This small pastry filled with creamy custard is a sweet salute to Lecce, one of Puglia’s most beautiful cities.

Commonly, you’d find variations of Pasticciotto featuring chocolate, “crema e amarena” (cream and sour cherry), ricotta, and pistachio fillings. Nowadays, Pasticciotto continues to inspire creativity in local pastry shops, resulting in innovative flavours like mandarin or ricotta and figs.

The special charm of Pasticciotto lies in its shortcrust pastry shell, which encloses the luscious filling, offering a delightful contrast of textures. But perhaps the charm of Pasticciotto also lies in its remarkable history, which is as evocative as its taste.

Pasticciotto Leccese

 

Pasticciotto Origins

Although known as Pasticciotto Leccese, this treat did not originate in Lecce but in a pastry shop in the picturesque city of Galatina, located in the province of Lecce, in the distant year of 1745. Struggling with economic difficulties, the shop’s proprietor one day decided to experiment with leftover shortcrust pastry and cream. He combined these “scraps” in small moulds in an attempt to create mini cakes.

Upon baking, he wasn’t pleased with the outcome, perceiving his experiment as a failure. He even referred to the outcome as a “pasticcio,” which translates to a mess or blunder. As a passerby strolled past his shop, he decided to give away his failed experiment while it was still warm.

As fate would have it, the recipient was a priest who, delighted with the taste, returned for more the next day. The priest’s admiration for the unexpected delicacy did not end there; he started promoting it among the church members. Thus, from an experiment deemed a “failure,” a star was born – the Pasticciotto – a beloved dessert that continues to sweeten the taste buds of Puglia locals and visitors alike.

 

 

Top Delicacies From Puglia

Long after you’ve returned from Puglia, you can still savor its flavors with these delicacies available for order online:

  • Orecchiette pasta
  • Turnip Tops Pesto – to be enjoyed with orecchiette as per tradition
  • Turnip Tops Greens – to add to your salad bowls, sandwiches, or enjoy as a side
  • Cannonata dip – to eat with tarallini, enrich pasta and meat sauces, or spread onto bread and eggs
  • Taralli in different flavours – to snack & dip
  • Bella Di Cerignola DOP Olives
  • Sundried Tomatoes
  • Whole Artichokes
  • Different Patés – from garlic, to artichoke, and sundried tomatoes

 

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Alessia
Author: Alessia

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