Discovering Puglia: Cuisine and Olive Oil

Trulli in Puglia, photo from official tourist site,
Trulli in Puglia, photo from official tourist site,

Imagine taking a train ride through Puglia, one of Italy’s 20 regions. On this train ride, you’ll be able to view the gorgeous landscape while also learning about the local cuisine and olive oil. Look out the window so you can gaze upon Puglia’s natural beauty. What do you see? Depending on where you are in this region, you might see whitewashed hill towns, miles and miles of coastline, the unique architecture of Trulli, and savvy travelers absorbing the scenes of this faraway land.

As you make stops along your journey, you’ll venture into some of the many towns across Puglia to explore. When hunger strikes, you might pop into a small café or restaurant or even be invited in for a meal by friendly residents.

What stands out on the local menu?

In Puglia, the first priority in the local cuisine is olive oil. The oils made here are not for the meek. They are big and bold and spicy. Powerfully rich. If an extra virgin olive oil from Puglia is not bold in the opening frames, the peppery punch may catch you in the finish. This ingredient is woven through just about every Puglian cuisine staple.

Pasta, particularly homemade orecchiette (little ears), served with meat ragu or a traditional broccoli sauce, is one of the first things you’ll find on the menu. Because eggless pasta is the custom here, the pasta is made simply with durum wheat flour, water, and salt.

Bread is served at every meal, especially in the famed Altamura.

Fish is abundant along the coast where you’ll find seafront restaurants with today’s fresh catch.

Inland, sheep farming dominates, and you’ll discover a preference for roasted lamb. Of course, this also means that sheeps’ milk cheese, burrata, percorino, and ricotta are the famed regional cheeses.

And circling back to dessert, local favorites include honey, figs, and ricotta.

At Olio2go, we have terrific selections from Puglia, including olive oil, olives, and lovely vegetables and pates for your antipasti.

Estate-produced olive oils from Puglia available at Olio2go:

Le Tre Colonne

  • Visit Le Tre Colonne
  • Visit the Tasting Room at Le Tre Colonne

Explore these options and experiment with the flavors in your own kitchen to enjoy a taste of Puglia at home.

Scenes from Le Tre Colonne
Salvatore Stallone with his children and with Flos Olei founders Marco Oreggia and Laura Marinelli
Selections from Puglia: DeCarlo, Villa Cappelli and Crudo Extra Virgin Olive Oils
Selections from Puglia: DeCarlo, Villa Cappelli and Crudo Extra Virgin Olive Oils

Olio De Carlo

Villa Cappelli

Crudo from Schiralli

To make your own discoveries, visit the Lonely Planet’s look at Puglia’s Food Festivals and Puglia’s Official Tourist Site,