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What to eat in Puglia - Discover the Heart of Italian Flavours

31 Agosto 2023

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Picture yourself strolling through the cobblestone streets of the south of Italy, where the gentle sea-breeze carries tales of ancient history and the aroma of freshly baked focaccia and homemade pasta. Welcome to Puglia, a real hidden gem, located in the heel of this picturesque country, where the scenery is as diverse as the flavours on the table. Puglia’s cuisine stands as a testament of history: Greek, Roman, and Byzantine influences intertwine to create a vibrant array of flavours and dishes.
From rustic pasta, to sourdough bread, to exquisite pastries, Puglia’s food is the celebration of locally sourced ingredients and ancient traditions. In this blog, we take you on a flavourful journey through Puglia's most famous dishes, each one a delightful expression of the region's culinary soul.

Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa: Marriage of Pasta and Greens

Let's start with Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa, a meal that perfectly captures the spirit of Puglian cuisine. The ear-shaped pasta orecchiette dances delicately with broccoli rabe, also known as cime di rapa, a bitter vegetable. This pasta dish's flavour and texture are beautifully balanced thanks to the aromatic garlic, a dash of chilli flakes, and a generous drizzle of olive oil.

Recipe for Orecchiette alle Cime di Rapa
How to make Orecchiette alle Cime di Rapa

Orecchiette Puglian Speciality
Orecchiette alle Cime di Rapa

Burrata: the creamy Heart of Puglia

Indulgence reaches new heights with Burrata, a luscious cheese born in the heart of Puglia. Protected by a delicate shell of mozzarella, this cheese reveals a smooth and creamy interior, a harmonious dance between textures, that will spark your tastebuds. Usually served with tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil and a few slices of prosciutto, Burrata is the perfect appetizer for your summer nights in Puglia. 

How to Make Burrata

Burrata Cheese
Burrata from Puglia

Friselle: Puglian Gastronomical Poetry

Meet Friselle, a perfect refreshing delight during your Italian summer. Friselle, also known as ‘Frise’ are rustic breads in the form of rings and they hold a surprising secret: a quick dip in water transforms them into a taste canvas. Served with plump tomatoes, flavourful basil and the ever-present olive oil, they are the perfect summary of the Mediterranean aromas. You can taste the sun, the sea, and centuries of tradition in every bite—a pure delight that perfectly expresses Puglia's culinary creativity. Frisella is the perfect summer bite, offering a refreshing, yet so tasty burst of flavours.
How to make Friselle

Frisella Pugliese Speciality
Frisella from Puglia

Tiella di Riso, Cozze e Patate: Layers of Unique Flavours

Wallow in the coastal magic of Puglia through the Tiella Riso, Cozze e Patate. This dish tells the tales of centuries and perfectly combines the symphony of the sea, the land the gastronomical tradition of this region. Layered with care, the Tiella connects mussels, potatoes and rice, the glorious Puglian trio, that perfectly describes the typical flavours of the region. It's a sensory journey that gives you a taste of the sea wind and sun-drenched fields. It also serves as a tribute to Puglia's talent for turning basic ingredients into art that perfectly portrays the warmth of its people and the soul of its coastline.

How to make Tiella Riso Cozze e Patate

Tiella Puglian Speciality
Tiella Riso Cozze e Patate

Fave e Cicoria: a humble charming dish

In the heart of Puglia’s rustic tradition lies “Fave e Cicoria”, a dish that perfectly describes the essence of the land. This soulful dish unites tender fava beans, and the bitter chicory, creating a harmony of flavours that will leave you speechless. You can taste Puglia's connection to its agricultural heritage and the flavours that time has honed as you savour each mouthful. With each taste, the fava beans' earthy sweetness and the chicory's sharpness combine to create a palate of direct enjoyment that captures the hospitality and warmth of Puglian kitchens.

Recipe for Fave e Cicoria
How to make Fave e Cicoria

Fave and Cicoria Puglian Speciality
Fave e Cicoria

Focaccia Pugliese: Sun-Kissed Simplicity on Your Plate

Close your eyes and let the undeniable delight of Focaccia Pugliese transport your taste senses to Puglia. This masterpiece of flatbread serves as a canvas for the region's sun-drenched landscapes.
As soon as it comes out of the oven, the crunchiness and the invigorating smell of the Focaccia Pugliese invade the cobblestone streets of the land. It's a symphony of flavours that transports you away to Puglia's heart. Adorned with jewels from the land—vibrant cherry tomatoes, fragrant rosemary, or the saline embrace of olives. You can taste tradition, skill, and the age-old technique of turning basic materials into a masterpiece that captures the natural beauty of the area and the warmth of its inhabitants with every bite.

Recipe for Focaccia Pugliese
How to make Focaccia Pugliese

Focaccia Pugliese Speciality
Focaccia from Puglia

Pasticciotto: Puglia’s Sweet Embrace of Traditions

Let’s finish off with the perfect dessert, the Pasticciotto, that describes a journey to the heart of local artistry. A delicate, flaky surface that breaks apart at the touch reveals a rich, velvety custard inside. Each bite is a symphony of flavours and textures, a tribute to the confectioners who have honed it over time. You can taste the effort to preserve Puglia's history in every mouthful—a heritage that honours the sweetness of life, the richness of simplicity, and the happiness that comes from sharing a treat that stands the test of time.

How to make Pasticciotti

Pasticciotto Puglia Dessert

In every sample of orecchiette, friselle or pasticciotto, we are reminded that food is a universal language that transcends time and connects us all. Let the spirit of this region continue to inspire your culinary explorations and keep the memories of this journey alive via its bright and wonderful flavours, whether you find yourself enjoying these delights in the heart of Puglia or in your own kitchen far away.

Explore the love language of the culinary traditions at our handpicked hotels in Puglia.
You can stay at an amazing trullo hotel in Noci, or a beautiful bed and breakfast in Monopoli. Or, if you prefer the comfort of home, you can choose from a charming holiday villa in Fasano. Or, again, don’t miss the opportunity to sojourn at a unique resort hotel in Otranto. 

Come and explore the magic of Puglia with Secretplaces, and let us be your guide for a perfect and unforgettable vacation. 
Check out all our authentic boutique hotels, trulli hotels and more in Puglia.


Written by: Eliana Caserio

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