Puglia is a place where food and wine is truly locavore, reflecting maturity and ease, complexity and freedom. This is a delicious wine and food tour of Puglia.The quality of Apulian ingredients is in the very nature of the lush region and stems from farming and fishing techniques.The cheeses of Puglia are stunning. It is also the driest region in Italy bathed in sunshine that produces radiant fruits and vegetables with intense flavour. Discover what Slow Food is all about as we explore and meet the best in the business on our Italy food tour.. Puglia, also known as Apulia, is the most south eastern region, occupying the ‘heel’ of the ‘boot’ of Italy. Our wine and food tour to Puglia visits many of the hilltop towns including the White City, Ostuni.
Puglia is a rugged agricultural region, there’s lots of coastline and the seafood is good and plentiful. But if you want citrus fruits and vegetables, Puglia is also where you must come. The sun is kind to things we like to eat: tomatoes, artichokes, fava beans, arugula, zucchini, beans, fennel, peppers, onions, and table grapes are all produced in abundance here. Agrumi, citrus fruit, was once a huge industry, especially around the Gargano peninsula; the climate there allows for two harvests every year.
Puglia is sheep territory. You’ll find amazing sheep cheeses. You’ll find an exception to sheep dominance on the Gargano peninsula in the local Podolica cattle, sturdy beasts which can graze on shrubs, stubbles and thickets and withstand a harsh climate to give a very rich milk used to produce the region’s classic caciocavallo cheese. I have visited places that produce 3 different milk cheeses, cow, goat & sheep. And some are blended, with stunning results. Join our tour and you to can taste the cheeses of Puglia, arguably the best cheeses in Italy.
The pasta shape you’ll encounter most often is orecchiette, little ears produced by hand from hard wheat and water. Eggs were a luxury, so the cucina povera has come to prefer an eggless but easily handmade pasta.
Puglia has some of the best bread in Italy. Italy’s only DOP bread is found in Altamura.
The cured meat that amazed me in Puglia was the Valle d’Itria product called Cappocollo di Martina Franca. Farmers markets abound in Puglia, and they are the best source for understanding exactly what is being produced in the country surrounding the towns we visit.
The Slow Food movement in Puglia is alive and well. When you’re in a restaurant that serves traditional food, try the dish called Fave e Cicoria, fava beans and potatoes boiled together, then whipped with olive oil and served with bitter greens. Its delicious.
There is, of course olive oil and wine, now celebrated for their quality. Puglia produces more wine than any other region in Italy. (approx. 22% of the total Italian wine production) 80% of the production is from red grape varieties, Primitivo, Negromaro, Uva di Troia & Malvasia, then Chardonnay and the stunning little known Verduca for white wines.
Puglia dominates the Olive Oil production in Italy, with 40% of all oils produced in Italy coming from the 5 regions of Puglia. There are around 60 million olive trees in Puglia, and the landscape from Bari thru to Lecce is dominated by olive tree groves.
Some of the Olive trees, known as monumental, are aged between 2500 and 3500 years old. We visit one of these Antica Masseria on the Delicious Puglia tour.