Pugliese food and wine is unique to this region owing to its climate and cultural influences over time. Thankfully, it is not a cuisine that is replicated all over the world – like lasagna, spaghetti bolognese and pizza – so many beverages and dishes can be tasted for the first time when you come and stay in Puglia.
Here are some things you absolutely must try in Puglia. If you take a food tour with us, you will get to sample them all, and more!
Is Puglia a good wine region?
Puglia is the second largest wine region in Italy, but this is little known.
Its land characterized by its typical red colour and the breeze from the seas that bathe it – the Adriatic to the east and the Ionian to the west – from Taranto – mean that the climate has components that are expressed in the blends of the various areas of Puglia. For this reason, the terroir of Apulian wine is infinitely varied and can change even a few kilometres away from place to place.
The wine production of Puglia is among the most important in Italy in terms of quantity.
Negro Amaro, Primitivo and Uva di Troia are grapes that have gained international prominence in recent years, marking the recovery of Puglia wines. Puglia in its entirety is then one of the reference areas in Italy to produce rosé wines, ideal both for pairing with local cuisine, and for the warm climate that characterizes the area for almost the whole year.
Negro Amaro is produced in Salento, while Uva di Troia and Montepulciano are produced in Bari area. Also, visit Puglia with a travel guide so that you never miss any tasty food and wines of Puglia. Well, it is known for its best cuisine.
Taralli Pugliesi with wine
But Puglia, as well as for its extraordinary wine production, is a land that offers many typical and tasty foods: “taralli”, for example, are a ring-shaped baked product typical of the Apulian gastronomic tradition. They can be eaten at any time of the day, sweet or savoury, plain or flavoured and are appreciated throughout Italy as a snack and as a delicious accompaniment to typical meals of cold cuts and cheeses. Taralli come from Palo del Colle, a town near Bari.
Caciocavallo di Puglia
Another delicious food from Puglia is “caciocavallo”, a stretched curd cheese made from cow’s milk. It is a typical cheese of southern Italy, it is produced in Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Sicily. If not seasoned, the flavor is sweet and delicate, otherwise it can become slightly spicy. Based on the type of food on which the cows are fed, the product acquires different flavor and color notes: licorice, fennel, myrtle, wild strawberries.
Oricchiette – little ear pasta
For those who love pasta, Puglia offers another gift form its land. We talk about “orecchiette”, a typical pasta from Puglia, whose shape, obtained with a quick gesture of the fingers that drags the pasta on the work surface, vaguely resembles that of small “ears”. The name by which this pasta is known today naturally derives from this shape.
Panzerotto savoury filled pastry
But Puglia offers much more. Like, for example, a typical product of Apulian gastronomy: the fried “panzerotto”. Made with leftovers from other doughs, it is the undisputed king of Apulian rotisserie: an inexpensive but tasty food, ideal for a quick snack on the road or comfortably seated at a table.
Apulian Christmas pastries
Another delicious food from Puglia, is “pettole”: tasty balls of leavened dough, also widespread in Calabria and Basilicata, they are very easy and quick to prepare, they involve a dough based on flour, water and brewer’s yeast which, once leavened, is taken by the spoonful and then fried in boiling seed oil until lightly gilding. Pettole are typical of the Christmas tradition, but are prepared throughout the year, in many variations.
Another characteristic Apulian food is “cartellate”, another typical Christmas cake of the Apulian and Lucanian gastronomic tradition.
Prepared above all for Christmas, in the Christian tradition they would represent the halo or the bands that wrapped the Child Jesus in the cradle, but also the crown of thorns at the time of the crucifixion.
“Pasticciotti” are also a delicious Apulian specialty, small fragrant shortbread filled with custard. They are typical of the Salento breakfast, and it is a great classic to taste them together with Lecce coffee.
The birth of pasticciotto as a sweet pastry with custard dates back to at least the 16th century in Rome, as evidenced by the recipe book (1570) of Bartolomeo Scappi, a native of Dumenza, who was part of the Confraternity of cooks and pastry chefs of Rome.
Famous Pugliese breads
The Apulian “focaccia” is a speciality to be tasted absolutely since it is one of the most typical foods of Puglia. High, soft and fluffy, the Apulian focaccia is a delight different from all the other focaccias that can be tasted everywhere and is prepared with tomato, onion, and mozzarella.
The PDO Altamurra bread
Altamura bread is a traditional bakery product from Altamura, in the metropolitan city of Bari and is famous all over Italy.
It is obtained from the use of semolina re-milled from varieties of durum wheat grown in the territories of the municipalities of the Murgia. The ingredients have remained unchanged over the centuries – durum wheat flour, sourdough, salt and water – as well as the manufacturing process, divided into five phases: kneading, moulding, leavening, shaping, cooking in a wood oven.
In July 2003, at European level, the Altamura bread was recognized as a ‘protected designation of origin protected’. The PDO identifies products that are produced a specific geographical area by local producers and ingredients from that region. Pizza from Naples is an example of this.
Classic Puglia can design you a tour around your tastes and preferences. Get in touch with our Puglia travel experts to start planning. Visit our tours page to view our predesigned Puglia itineraries.