About pgplease

pgplease has been a member since November 20th 2012, and has created 4 posts from scratch.

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Puglia: A Culinary Memoir

Puglia: A Culinary Memoir by Maria Pignatelli Ferrante, first published in Italy as part of a highly regarded culinary series, is now available in English from Oronzoeditons. Puglian author Maria Pignatelli Ferrante skillfully weaves regional history and personal anecdotes together with over 250 classic Puglian recipes that follow an Italian meal from primi piatti to dolci. Puglian recipes will surprise and delight cooks of all persuasions as they savor classic orecchiette, lampascioni, local lamb and pork specialties, pettole and taralli, holiday sweets, and a wonderful array of marmalades and liqueurs.

Puglia Portrait: South Eastern Italy

Puglia is the heel of Italy that stretches down from the spur of the Italian boot. Littered across this region of mesmerizing landscapes and picturesque cities are Romanesque cathedrals, Gothic castles, a wealth of Baroque architecture, and rupestrian churches with Byzantine frescoes. Though always popular with Italians, Puglia has been neglected by tourists, who for many years favored Tuscany and Umbria. The region is now, however, hastily emerging from their shadow. All of a sudden, there are radio and television features; travel supplements lavish praise on its beaches and cuisine; supermarkets stock Puglian wine, olive oil, and pasta; and yet, despite all this attention, almost nothing has been written in English on Puglia since the days of Norman Douglas and the Sitwells.

This is not a holiday history or a canter through Puglia’s past, but a thoughtful look—often through the eyes of previous travelers, for Puglia’s landscape has changed remarkably little over the years—at a region inextricably intertwined with its past. We are introduced to its heroes, meet its people, and visit its shrines; we sample its food and savor its beauty.

My Passage To Puglia

When the journey began we didn’t expect to buy a derelict “torretta” and a 10 acre olive farm in the Gargano, Puglia. My wife’s father “escaped” from the village and lifestyle of Vico del Gargano. Each year he would return with his family for August and later, we too visited Vico each summer. For my wife in particular Vico always felt like home. She seemed to have a subliminal bond, perhaps acquired when she was brought to Vico as a baby and left in the care of her grandmother. We instinctively wanted to move to the area, but due to the remoteness, the dialect and strong family reaction we were deterred from doing so. Nonetheless, we continued to harbour dreams of the spur of Italy, its beautiful rugged coastline, its mountainous forested interior, its people, dialect and traditions that gave the impression that civilisation had simply passed the region by. One day the opportunity arose for us to escape the UK and we embarked on a long journey that would change our lives forever . . .

Welcome to Puglia Please!

Welcome to Puglia Please!

Apulia is a region that can satisfy any taste and interest, from its ancient history to the Medieval and Baroque epochs, from its castles that line the coast to the tiny, artistic borgoes where artisanl masterpieces come to life.

The most devout – but not only – should not miss a trip to San Giovanni Rotondo (Foggia), to visit the places of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, the monastery of Capuchin friars of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where Padre Pio died in 1968, and the new church designed by great architect Renzo Piano, open since 2004.

For a full immersion in history and traditionAlberobello is a must. The town of the trulli – ancient and peculiar stone houses with a conical roof, built without mortar- is so unique that it has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Besides its trulli, Apulia hosts another UNESCO site in the town of AndriaCastel del Monte, an unrivalled masterpiece of Medieval architecture commissioned by Frederick II of Hohenstaufen in the 13th Century. It is interesting to know that the number 8 is the motif of the castle: the sides of the castle are eight, the rooms of the ground floor and the first floor are eight,  and the grand octagonal-planned towers are eight-sided as well.

San Domino, San Nicola, Capraia, Cretaccio and Pianosa are the five islands of the Tremiti Archipelago, a tiny paradise where history and nature merge perfectly and offer a wonderful landscape to explore.

Apulian cuisine has always been defined as “poor” for its simple ingredients; yet, it satisfies any palate. Its basic elements are three: durum wheatvegetables and olive oil, combined with meat and fish to create original dishes with genuine and unmistakable flavors.

The hallmark of regional cooking is homemade pasta made with durum wheat or a mix of durum and soft wheat: from recchietelle (also called orecchiette) that, in its many versions, is a symbol of the region, to the famous strascinati, that once were the main course for the poorest families and are now ordered and served in the best restaurants. Then, mignuicchiefenescecchietroccolisagne ‘ncannuatecicatadde and other original types of pasta are still made according to historic traditions.

Particularly, the combination between pasta and vegetables is unexpectedly surprising, like strascinati with cabbage and fried bacon or spaghetti with string beans, tomatoes and cacioricotta cheese.  In fact, Apulia is one large, aromatic vegetable garden that boasts unparalleled flavors and colors. When combined with homemade pasta, fresh fish, or even good meat, they leave the palate with unforgettable sensations.

This region, with its 800 km (497 mi) of coast and two seas, offers a great variety of fish specialties for those who know how to appreciate it: raw, marinated, poached in delicious fish soups and even with cheese.

Those who have a sweet tooth, rather, will find lots of temptations with dried fruithoneymulled winecandied fruit and chocolate.

Among the quality products, awarded with the labels DOP (Denomination of Protected Origin) or RGI (Regional Geographical Indication), are Altamura bread, famous for its crispness; sweet and juicy Clementine Tangerines from the Gulf of Taranto; the Bella della Daunia, a type of olive cultivated in the area of Foggia since 1400, and the famous wines and extra-virgin olive oils, all with their very own characteristics according to production area.

We’re going to be presenting you with unique product opportunities to experience things exclusive to the Puglia Region.  We are going to begin with what is known as Puglia’s Green Gold…Olive Oil.