Puglia’s cuisine is a simple but exceedingly tasty expression of the local culture. The region is still largely agricultural and many people still grow their own vegetables, tend their own olive groves and even, in some small villages, make their own bread at communal wood-fired ovens. Puglia produces around 40% of Italy’s olive oil, lays claim to dozens of local cheeses and cured meats and, thanks to its 800km of coastline, boasts some of the best seafood anywhere in Italy. All of which means, that Puglia is an excellent destination for anyone interested in cooking, eating and generally immersing themselves in a regional food culture.
There can be few better bases from which to do this than at Trullo Rosmarino and its sister villas, Terrarossa and Fichimori. Immersed in the heart of the Valle d’Itria, they each come with fabulous kitchens and herb, fruit and vegetable gardens where guests can pick their own produce as it comes into season.
Cookery experiences at Trullo Rosmarino, Terrarossa and Fichimori
If you’re curious to find out about how Puglians combine their wonderful fresh ingredients, we can arrange for a local signora to come to the villa to impart the real essence of traditional cooking to you*. In a few hours, she will immerse you in a hands-on cooking fest during which you will learn how to make some of the region’s signature dishes, including home-made orecchiette pasta with tomato sauce, stuffed aubergines and courgettes and a dessert such as pasticciotti (little pastries filled with custard or black cherries). If your own personal orecchiette don't quite come off (though we are confident you'll master how to make them!), don't worry, as your cook will have made a batch beforehand. After all your hard work, you will of course feast on the fruits of your labours, washed down, perhaps, by a glass or two of local Negroamaro, Primitivo or Locorotondo DOC wine.
The immediate area around Trullo Rosmarino, Terrarossa and Fichimori is home to numerous small artisanal olive presses, cheesemakers and wineries where you can take tours and sample products. Also close by is the National Association for Biodiversity, 10 hectares of land dedicated to the cultivation and safeguarding of rare, traditional varieties of fruit and vegetables. A children’s centre allows the youngest in your group to learn more and you can, of course, taste and buy ingredients for your meals at your villa.
If all that weren’t enough, any visit to Puglia in September would be incomplete if you didn’t go to one of the numerous sagre – food festivals. Each year, numerous towns and villages pay homage to their traditional dish or a particular ingredient grown locally by spilling into the streets and cooking up huge vats of tasty food for everyone to share, visitors included. All this is usually accompanied by music, dancing and fireworks until late into the night.
*Cookery experiences at Trullo Rosmarino, Terrarossa and Fichimori take place with a local lady and last for around 3 - 4 hours. The cost is €50 per person (for minimum 2 participants, maximum 6) plus the cost of ingredients. An interpreter may also be booked at a small extra cost. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.