Puglia and Salento are home to some of the most famous Italian dishes. The cuisine in this region is known for its simplicity and for using fresh, local produce. Fortunately, there are many fantastic ingredients readily available in this area and this means that the food from this region is diverse. Here are some of the local produce and traditional dishes produced in this region.
Durum wheat is usually used to produce pasta in this region as it grows in abundance. Pasta is traditionally not made with eggs as they were once considered to be a luxury. Orecchiette is the pasta most commonly associated with Puglia and this means ‘little ears’. In many of the villages, pasta is made in the street.
Italy is the second biggest producer of olive oil in the world with only Spain exceeding Italy. Puglia is the region that produces the most olive oil in the country as approximately 300,000 tonnes of olive oil is produced and this equates to about 40 percent of the olive oil produced in Italy.
There are many different kinds of cheese that are traditional to this region. Burrata is the most famous and this is made by combining mozzarella and cream. Canestrato is a hard cheese that is a combination of goat and sheep milk. A seasonal ricotta cheese called Caciorotta is made using unpasteurized sheep’s milk.
The most common meat used in the dishes of Puglia is lamb. Pork and horse meat are also commonly used. Although beef is now increasing in popularity in the region, it is still rarely used in comparison to other meats.
Both fish and seafood are widely used in the cuisine of Puglia and Salento. Some of the most commonly used ingredients include red mullet, cod, cuttlefish, bream, anchovies, and mussels. Baccalà
Puglia is known as the breadbasket of Italy. Bread is eaten at nearly every meal and is used to mop up sauces. There is a wide range of different breads produced in this region. One popular bread is taralli. This is a baked breadstick that is made using different flavors, such as onion or fennel. Another popular choice is pizzi. This is a bread that contains tomatoes and olives.
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