At the heel of Italy's boot lies Puglia, a land so rich in flavors and local delicacies that it has become a favorite culinary destination for both Italians and tourists seeking real traditional Italian food.
Among the typical products of Puglia are some of the most famous Italian delicacies abroad: starting with the decadent creamy Burrata di Andria, not to mention Pecorino and the famous extra virgin olive oil.
We've collated some of our favourites on offer that demonstrate some of the most delicious and famous gastronomic products of Puglia, from sausages to offal, and fruit to cheese and much more besides.
So pack your bags and prepare to head to the heel of Italy as we take you on a mouth-watering tour of 12 unmissable foods.
One of the most popular delicacies from Puglia is the wonderful creamy cheese of Burrata. The typical cheese is made using a special process which results in the unusual form of a soft pouch of deliciousness, made from spun curd, filled with a creamy stracciatella heart that oozes out when cut into. Delicious enjoyed in salads or simply with anchovies.
2. Canestrato Pugliese DOP
With a brownish yellow rind rind and a straw coloured cheese inside that intensifies its color depending on its age, which can be anywhere from 2 to ten months. Canestrato Pugliese DOP is produced in the province of Foggia and Bari as well as some neighboring municipalities where the cheese is traditionally made in woven baskets that give it its characteristic shape.
3. Fallona di Gravina
The delicate and fresh Fallone di Gravinia cheese is produced near Bari. It's best eaten as fresh as possible, prefereably on the same day that it's made. The two key ingredients are goat milk and sheep milk. It presents with a stringy paste and a fairly neutral flavour.
4. Ricotta Marzotica
This conical shaped dairy product is produced in the Salento area. In the traditional recipe serum of goat's milk, sheep, cow or mixed are used. It's a hard crustless cheese with the salting taking place once the cheese is extracted from the baskets. Perfect grated onto pasta.
Cold Cuts, Meat and Offal, Typical of Puglia
These pork meat rolls stuffed with cheese, salt and pepper are prepared in all municipalities in the Valle d' Itria, although there are several variations in each area. In the 25 years since they first came about in Brindisi, they have grown into a practical and delicious street food favourite of the area.
The Muschiska is a type of dried meat that can be seasoned with garlic and chilli. The drying time is about 20 days and the raw material may be sheep, calf or goat. Typical of Gargano, in particular of Rignano Garganico Sannicandro, the Mushiska is consumed either cooked or raw. Typically it was the preferred snack of shepherds during transhumance. The very special name comes from Arabic and from the word mosammed , or " hard. "
Turcinelli, gnummareddi, nghiemeridde, ' mboti : There are many names for this typical Apulian product, which can also be found in Molise and Basilicata. Turcinello and nghiemeridde terms are respectively used in Foggia and Bari. The Torcinello is a roulade made with entrails, lung, intestines and liver all put in a casing of lamb or goat. Once grilled it be eaten as a delicious sandwich filling.
Capocollo famous to Martina Franca is produced with pork bred in the Itria Valley. The cured pork comes is encased within its own gut and hung and aged in the traditional way. Its delicate taste is slightly savoury and it's best served thinly sliced and naturally to enjoy it at its finest.
Other Famous Foodstuffs from Puglia
9. Pane di Altamura (Altamura Bread)
One of the most famous breads in Puglia: the Altamura bread is made with semolina and durum wheat grown in Murgia. It is still produced in the same territory as dictated by tradition along with the use of yeast or sour dough. In 2003 Altamura bread was recognized as a PDO meaning its crispy crust, soft crumb and unmistakable savory taste that made it famous has a trademark guarantee. As the bread takes a few days for the crumb to dry out it's a popular family favourite that will last a few days.
10. FAVA DI ZOLLINO (Zollino Beans)
Typical of the province of Lecce, the Fava of Zollino is a particular variety with pods of no more than 5 seeds. Famous for being easy to cook, the beans are typically eaten dried; they have a flattened appearance and are larger than other beans.
These unusual small fruits are not only typical of Puglia, but their cultivation is particularly widespread. There are several varieties such as Barattiere, meaning Long Polignano, the Scopatizzo Barese or Cianciuffo. They are green fruit with pulp variable color that look like small melons and can be eaten in savory dishes or as actual fruit.
12. Dauno Oil DOP
Puglia is famous for its extra virgin olive oil, but just a few know about the Dauno Oil Dop, an oil with a floral and sweet taste that is produced in the province of Foggia. The Daunia name refers to the myth of Dauno, King of Arcadia, who according to legend landed on the coast of Puglia, founding new cities. The green/yellow the Dauno oil is available all year.