It’s easy to eat well in Puglia. Here are specialty foods to try when you visit the region.
Olive oil: Puglia is a top producer of olives and olive oil and much of the cuisine is olive oil based. Olive oil is produced all over the region and you’ll find it for sale in many shops and sometimes be able to taste it. Olive oil is a good thing to take some home or give it as a gift. If you’re traveling, try to buy it in a can.
Orecchiette: The main pasta of Puglia is orecchiette, or little ears, made by making a thumb print in the pasta dough. They are most commonly served with cima di rape, a bitter green vegetable, but are also often served with fresh tomatoes and basil or ragu. When you walk through the old town in Bari, you’ll probably see orecchiette for sale, drying on racks outside houses along Strada Arco Alto.
Burrata: One of the top cheeses in Puglia is burrata, a rich and creamy cheese made with an outside layer of mozzarella and a mixture of mozzarella and cream inside.
Altamura Bread: The town of Altamura has been known for centuries for its special bread, pane di altamura, that now has DOP status (protected origin).
Lampascioni: Bulbs called lampascioni look like small onions but have a bitter taste. They may be served as part of an appetizer.
Pasticciotto: When you go to Lecce be sure to try pasticciotto, the pastry specialty that’s like a small custard pie. A good place to try it is Pasticceria Luca Capolungo. For a savory snack try the pizzo of Lecce.
Puglia is known for its vegetables and very fresh vegetables are often served as part of an appetizer assortment. It’s pretty easy to follow a vegetarian diet in Puglia.