Cuisine and Wines of Puglia – Apulia

Puglia is the heel of Italy and is a flat region with no mountains so the region is uniform in it’s temperature which is the ideal climate for growing food and it is predominately an agricultural region. Puglia produces the most grapes, both for eating and for wine making, in Italy and is also the largest producer of olive oil, producing around 40% of Italy’s Olive Oil. Other crops grown in profusion in the region are wheat, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, fennel, endive chickpeas, lentils and beans. With it’s extensive coastline fish and seafood feature greatly in regional cuisine and turtles, oysters, mussels, cuttlefish and octopus will be found on most menus. February is the time for eating sea anemones which are served raw with a splash of lemon or cooked into pasta dishes. The traditional pasta shape of the region is “orecchiette”(little ears) and made from the durum wheat grown in the area and are usually served with delicious sauces such as a meat ragu. Baked pasta dishes are also popular but you will find that beef is used mainly in sauces and meatballs as in the past when times were tough cattle was only slaughtered once it was old and therefore the meat had become tough. A tasty example of a baked dish is Maccheroni al forno, maccheroni are mixed with meatballs, hard-boiled eggs, topped with a pie crust and baked in the oven. The durum wheat grown locally is not only used to make pasta but also local, traditional bread in all shapes and sizes which is the accompaniment to all meals, there are still communal wood-burning ovens to bake the bread made by hand in many of the regions households. Altamura, in the north-west of the region, was the first town to receive a DOP (Denomination of Origin of Production) for its bread. The rocky interior of Puglia is ideal for sheep rearing and there are vast flocks of sheep which produce not only beautifully tender lamb but also sheep’s milk for the production of fresh ricotta cheese and pecorino and a cheese of the region “burrata di Andria” a cheese which must be consumed on the day it is made. The long coastline also provides ample opportunities for fishermen to bring ashore large quantities of seafood, these include cuttlefish, mussels, sea bass and anchovies.

Desserts from Puglia are mainly almond based, as the region produces vast quantities of almonds, ricotta pastries sweetened with honey or marzipan or a delicious selection of regional fresh fruits.

List of Italian DOCG wines of Puglia

  • Castel del Monte Bombino Nero, produced in the provinces of Bari and Foggia
    Castel del Monte Nero di Troia Reserva, produced in the provinces of Bari and Foggia
    Castel del Monte Rosso Riserva, produced in the provinces of Bari and Foggia
    Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale, produced in the province of Taranto

List of Italian DOC wines of Puglia

  • Aleatico di Puglia produced throughout the region
    Alezio produced in the province of Lecce
    Barletta produced in the province of Barletta-Andria-Trani
    Brindisi produced in the province of Brindisi
    Cacc’e mmitte di Lucera produced in the province of Foggia
    Castel del Monte produced in the province of Bari
    Colline Joniche Taratine produced in the province of Taranto
    Copertino produced in the province of Lecce
    Galatina produced in the province of Lecce
    Gioia del Colle produced in the province of Bari
    Gravina produced in the province of Bari
    Leverano produced in the province of Lecce
    Lizzano produced in the province of Taranto
    Locorotondo produced in the provinces of Bari and Brindisi
    Martina produced in the provinces of Bari, Brindisi and Taranto
    Matino produced in the province of Lecce
    Moscato di Trani produced in the provinces of Bari and Foggia
    Nardò produced in the province of Lecce
    Negroamaro di Terra d’Otranto produced in the province of Lecce
    Orta Nova produced in the province of Foggia
    Ostuni produced in the province of Brindisi
    Primitivo di Manduria produced in the provinces of Brindisi and Taranto
    Rosso Barletta produced in the provinces of Bari and Foggia
    Rosso Canosa produced in the province of Bari
    Rosso di Cerignola produced in the province of Bari
    Salice Salentino produced in the provinces of Brindisi and Lecce
    San Severo, produced in the province of Foggia
    Squinzano produced in the provinces of Brindisi and Lecce
    Tavoliere delle Puglie or “Tavoliere”, produced in the provinces of Foggia and Barletta-Andria-Trani
    Terra d’Otranto produced in the provinces of Brindisi, Lecce and Taranto
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