We didn’t meet many Americans in Puglia. They haven’t discovered it yet. They will soon! It’s a thriving charming area of Italy located in the heel and Achilles’ tendon of the boot shape of Italy. Their wines were our favorite along with Provence. It is Italy, so the food is all fantastic!
Most interesting are the trullo style homes built as sheds and barns in the 16th to 18th centuries and now renovated into homes. I’ll post more on this later! We stayed in a trullo apartment just outside of Cisternino a week and took day trips from there.
Our first dinner in Cisternino was at Bella Italia. We went back the next day for lunch!
Grilled thin sliced zucchini, radicchio and eggplant with a balsamic glaze
Pasta with seafood and a parsley asparagus sauce, like pesto
Here are some cheeses we bought at a market. The white is a cows milk mozzarella that’s tied into a knot. The darkest is an aged cheese and the yellow a mild medium aged cheese. And there is the prosciutto. The bread is a light yellow color. It has sesame seeds on it and has no other additives besides the local flour.
Tiramisu with a real strong coffee flavor
While driving near Cisternino we came across a stunning olive grove which sold their oil on property. The owner gave us a small lesson in growing olives. This tree is 600 years old!
Masseria Pezze Galere Extra Virgin Olive Oil
We took a day trip to Lecce, known as the Florence of the south. It has beautiful baroque churches, Roman ruins and big open spaces for people to gather.
First stop was for the famous pasticciotto at Martinucci Laboratory. I chose the ricotta and pistachio filling
Martinucci’s makes their own gelato in their shop!
Fresh burrata, a mozzarella cheese filled with cream.
Grilled lamb chop, skewered beef and pork and sausage. Served with a salad.
On our way out of town we stopped at a famous geletaria for gelato. Pastitcceria Natale. This one is cayenne flavored chocolate and ricotta gelato.
Another day trip was north to the sea. Poltignano a Mare, a lovely town with dramatic cliffs and is the birthplace of the composer of the song Voláre.
Dave enjoyed these squid ink orecchiette, a pasta shaped like little ears. Here it’s served with seafood over a fava bean purée.
This is a red tuna seared and marinated in a soy ginger sauce with pistachio.
We tried the best wines at this cool enoteca called Il Cucco in Cisternino. The owner had this mirror frame made from his grandmothers old washboard!
Pizza is everywhere. Here was an inexpensive 4 cheese pizza in Cisternino at a place called Happy Point
Puréed fava beans and potato puréed with water and served with steamed chicory. Fava beans are not as starchy as Lima beans, but look similar.
Pork sausage and rolled veal filled with breadcrumbs