Exploring the culinary side of Italy and Puglia

If you go through Italian cook books, you are lucky if you come across recipes and ingredients that are slightly sophisticated. This is why Puglia stands out; for its simple cooking styles. The region is famous for its large quantities of vegetables and fruits plus durum wheat from which pasta is made. Looking at Puglia from a distance, one cannot help but think about Greece – the dry, ho landscape gives away the fact the Greece is close by (only 72 km/45 miles away). In Puglia expect to have fish and seafood in plenty but go easy on the meat because it can be uncommon here.

The Sicily food culture

Tourists flock to Sicily to visit Lecce and Bari which are the region’s major historic cities. After you are done touring these two, you can go down to Ostuni for its whitewashed towns on a hilltop then to Gallipoli and Otranto for a coastal experience. The majority of tourist population is however distributed between Martina Franca, Locorotondo and Alberobello. These areas are close to the strange-looking conical dwellings that can be nowhere else in Italy but in Puglia. In this area, expect to come across and eat from little restaurants and road-side food vendors at every turn.

The Tuscany food culture

The people of Tuscany are fond of lamb. If you have never had an opportunity to partake of horsemeat, you should try it when you are in Tuscany. In central Puglia, the most common feature is the village ovens which are communal. The ovens are used for the long-standing Puglia art of bread making, and also for offal dishes and slow meat cooking. Street food stalls and butchers have open grills often fired by wood on which they cook meat orders.

The huge sheep flocks usually translate to good cheese, the most celebrated variety being canestrato pugliese. There are also cheese varieties like fallone di Gravina, pampanella and burrata di Andria which should be consumed within 24 hours.

What the people of Puglia eat

Every area in Italy has pasta as a staple food. In Puglia, the typical variety is known as orecchiette or little ears based on their shape. Some other varieties eaten here are cavatelli, troccoli, stacchiodde, gruessi and curti. Orecchiette is often accompanied by a cime di rape sauce which literally means turnip tops but it looks more like leafy broccoli. Pasta in general is served with aged ricotta, mussels, wild fennel, wild chicory, courgette flowers, white beans and burnt grain.

The wines of Puglia

There is plenty of wine production that takes place in Puglia – take the entire production of Australian wineries and divide by two to get the estimated output. Previously, Puglia was used to enhance other wines. Today, with improved production standards, lots of sun and diverse traditional varieties, powerful reds are finding their way into the competitive markets.

Food and wine holidays in Puglia

There is so much to sample in terms of foods and wine varieties in Puglia. Why not attend some focused events to get the most out of this region? Some notable holidays are listed below;

  • L’Acropoli di Puglia – an outstanding olive oil plant; visitors can tour the olive oil journey from start to finish.
  • Gourmet Puglia – visitors get to tour the entire region of Puglia which includes a Kitchen and Puglia Adventure.
  • Il Gusto del Tacco – a cooking school where visitors can learn local culinary skills
  • Flavours Holidays – this holiday exposes visitors to cooking styles of Puglia and the overall dining experience around the region.
  • The Awaiting Table – cooking school that involves shopping for ingredients, sightseeing and cycling.
  • Think Puglia – if you book a villa holiday stay, it is accompanied by lessons right inside your villa.

In addition to the structured tours you get from your guide and tours provider, Italy is a destination where you can have personalized cooking lessons and meditation at your accommodation. If this is what you are looking for, book villa Puglia by Puglia Paradise for an opportunity to enjoy the best quality villa accommodation in Italy. For those times when you would rather stay indoors, you will be entertained by an Italian singer, yoga class or massage.

Have a fun time interacting with other guests at the facility by engaging in cooking classes where you will learn how to make classic Italian pizza and cocktails. A personal chef can also be arranged to make custom meals as you watch. Puglia Paradise is not just an agency that arranges your villa accommodation; they ensure that your stay is memorable. Working with them is signing up for exceptional villa knowledge, 24/7 concierge service and a dynamic range of hand-picked properties.

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