Food in Puglia
I lived in Puglia – ‘the heel’ of Italy (Apulia in English) since February 2010 to first week of March 2011. There are two things I love about this region are amazing beaches and even better food. I’ve met families and groups of people who go on holidays to Puglia because of its cuisine. And I have to agree with them. After some time here, I’m still overwhelmed with the tastiness of Apulian food – often so called cucina povera as Puglia has always been a region of poverty.
What do you imagine under the Italian cuisine? Let me guess: pizza, pasta, Italian ice cream, sea food, mozzarella?, bread with olive oil and vinegar. Am I right? Of course, you can find all this food in Puglia, too and on top of it, of a great quality, I guarantee.
Then extra virgin olive oil from olives growing on almost every field is special as you don’t really feel the typical bitterness (which makes even those who never liked it to start to use it in everyday cooking – like me). Very fruity are clementines from this area. From drinks, it’s especially wine, there are vineyards all over the place. I haven’t tried it as I don’t drink alcohol but it’s said Apulian wines are delicious.
Living in Brindisi makes me mention you the best places to eat if you ever visit this little town – the best when it comes to the taste, quality, quantity and prices.
For pizza, go to Jack restaurant in the center (prices around 8 – 12 euro for a big pizza); or in Casale to Lo Sfizio or L’angolo on Via Ammiraglio Cagni, kind of take away pizzerias, with some tables to sit and offering drinks, too. Just for 3 – 6 euro you will end up pretty full and satisfied. Here you’ll get absolutely the best Italian pizza I’ve ever tried.
If you still have some space in your stomach, please try crepes in Creperia at the same street, just next to Lo Sfizio, you can choose from crepes with cheese, ham, mushrooms, rucola, and many other ingredients (3 or 4 euro) or from the sweet ones with nutella, banana, coco, baileys etc. for just 2 or 3 euro and then flush it all down with one of the milkshakes. This Creperia is a must, you will have the feeling that life is worth living again :D.
Are you a hot chocolate lover? Visit Cafe Continental for a thick proper hot choco.
Apart from pizza, your tongue can enjoy focaccia (oven-baked bread just with herbs or more ingredients); calzone (like pizza but closed – a crescent moon filled with cheese and tomatoes); arancini (look like a ball made from rice, cheese, meat or ham usually covered with bread crumbs and fried; in the end it resembles an orange with its colour and shape, that’s why the name, arancia = orange); rustico (filled with mozarella, tomato, besciamella sauce); tarallini (traditional apulian food baked from flour and egs, more tastes: with olive oil, a la pizza, sweet etc.).
The greatest restaurant in Brindisi, my favourite one to enjoy typical food in Puglia is without any doubt La Locanda ti li Spilusi at Contrada Restinco. It’s on the way to San Vito dei Normanni, just a couple of minutes by car from Brindisi. They have the most delicious antipasti from Puglia. My favourite one is fonduta but I recommend you to try all the antipasti. They come in small plates, similar to Spanish tapas and sometimes you don’t feel hungry any more to take a main course, too. I usually just have antipasti and then a dessert. You can choose from pannacotta with caramel, chocolate or forest fruit sauce; profiterol; tartufo or chocolate mousse. Let’s enjoy :)
*I wrote this post years ago before I became vegan, mostly raw vegan.