Telling the story of a flavorful Puglia means telling a story of seasons,
biodiversity, and top-quality raw materials yielding countless recipes
from the land and sea, like the most iconic of the regional dishes: rice,
potatoes, and mussels. In Polignano a Mare, the area between Fasano
and Bari which boasts the world’s highest rate of consumption of raw
fish, this dish is revisited in a unique Japanese/Apulian version. So begins
the culinary revolution of the new Puglia – a revolution enjoyed
elsewhere in Italy, where a tartaruga, the typical semolina roll filled
with octopus, has become a street-food must.
More than one hundred types of fine, aromatic bread, baked in woodor
straw-burning ovens, as in Orsara di Puglia. And the pasta comes in
so many shapes and sizes, with orecchiette dominating over all. The
women of Bari Vecchia provide a unique experience, chatting away
while kneading semolina and making orecchiette of all sizes, which
they dry in the open air along the street leading from the Castle to
the Cathedral. Then there are the cheeses, and the real delights of the
stretched-curd variety known as pasta filata, like caciocavallo and
burrata. For those who want to learn their secrets, there are tasty
opportunities at the agritourism establishments and Masserie Didattiche
(Educational Farms) that offer a host of workshops. Food is a
serious thing in Puglia, as shown by the long series of gourmet events
throughout the year. Some are original, like Libando, in May, a major
national event dedicated to quality street food in the heart of Foggia;
others are historical, like Cantine Aperte (“open wine cellars”) in late
May. June is the time for sweet red fruits, then it is immediately the
Cherry Festival, as at Conversano and Turi. In August, Maglie embraces
Mercatino del Gusto, the “market of taste” bringing together the
best of the region’s wine and food. In November, we’re off to hunt the
king of mushrooms, the “Cardoncello,” celebrated in the Murge, and
the many festivals celebrating novella wine.

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