When we talk about Puglia from a culinary point of view, the typical Apulian products that first come to mind and we almost always talk about are orecchiette, friselle and taralli. This is also the case when you go to Calabria or Sicily, you always think about typical Calabrian products, so you always think about tasting local specialties.
And yes, these foods are undoubtedly indissoluble icons of the typical Italian cuisine. We will suggest shortly what to eat in Puglia, these are elements that have allowed our region to be known and appreciated even beyond the border.
But there is much more to discover and love about this land, a gastronomic tradition that is the envy of all other regions and of Italian cuisine. Also because, as we know, Puglia is long and varied from every point of view.
Typical Apulian cuisine, what to eat in Puglia then? Traditional Apulian dishes use both land and sea products and this is what makes it unique and complete, here we give you an idea of what Apulian recipes are, province by province.
Some dishes are very typical among them, even if some areas are not mentioned specifically, they make up part of the area, dishes that satisfy every palate even for those who follow a vegan and vegetarian diet.
Foggia and its province produce Muschiska, a dried meat of sheep, goat or veal. The best known cheese of the area is the caciocavallo, but also the giuncata and the pecorino.
Bread and pasta are produced with not very refined flour, and therefore take on a rather dark color.
Among the typical dishes of Foggia and Apulian cuisine there are
Among the typical sweets of Foggia there are cartellate, fried desserts covered with apples, and a big variety of sweets made with almond paste, like calzoncelli and landed almonds.
Bari cuisine is also known for Cavatelli and Orecchiette (those seasoned with rape/turnip greens in particular), but also for Maltagliate, strascinati and tripoline.
As for the cheeses, Burrata, Pallone di Gravina and Canestrato from Puglia are typical.
Friselle and taralli also dominate the Bari area, but there is no lack of special products such as Sgagliozze, which are fried pieces of polenta. The most famous desserts are the sasanelli, the bocconotto, the scarcella and the zeppola.
Salento has a very peculiar culinary tradition. In spring and summer the dishes are mainly based on vegetables and fish, while in the winter season, homemade pasta and legumes are at the center of the recipes of Salento.
It is a particularly poor cuisine in terms of the ingredients used, such as unrefined flour or barley, but which give life to absolutely unique dishes.
Among these for example ciceri and tria (fried pasta and chickpeas), horse stew, bean and chicory puree, orecchiette and cavatelli with ricotta forte, sagne scannulate (twisted lasagne), fried chicory and tomato, poached turnips, friselle with tomato, paparina with olives, lampascioni (wild onions), pettole (fried batter balls).
Then again, the moniceddhi (snails), the scapece (fried fish in vinegar), the octopus alla pignata, mussels, rice and potatoes, the turcineddhi (rolls of entrails), the black pudding, the pitta (stuffed potato cake), the rustico lecces with béchame (a puff pastry salty dish), fried calzone, puccia with black olives, friselle and taralli of all kinds.
As for desserts, in Salento almond paste reigns, which takes on different shapes depending on the time of year.
Quince, or quince jam, as well as grape jam, purcedduzzi (small balls of fried dough turned in honey), mustazzoli (biscuits made with almonds, cocoa and other flavors) are also typical.
Then again, the pasticciotto (shortcrust pastry and custard) and the fruttone, a variant filled with jam and almond paste, the cupeta (in honey glazed almonds and nuts), the spumone (layered ice cream with hazelnut, chocolate or pistachio) and the pittedde (biscuits with quince jam and grapes).
Sheep ricotta, giuncata, stracciatella, ricotta forte, pecorino and cacioricotta are the best known and most appreciated Salento cheeses. Salento is also a land of olives.
Since the olive tree is the most common tree throughout the territory, Salento oil is the basis of the extraordinary nature of all the aforementioned dishes, and a very precious ally for the health and longevity of the Salento people.
Further information on typical Salento cuisine can be found here