The taste of life on an Italian farm is unforgettable, as though our modern tech-packed, app-driven lives never arrived. People still live as their grandparents did, a bit of farming in the morning, market shopping for fresh produce from the local farmers, a siesta for a as long as possible, and in the evening, a swim or a walk through town, people watching and then a slow meal prepared from the local ingredients you fetched that day. Many still live off the land and that is my ultimate goal!
Puglia’s mineral rich limestone soil, proximity to the sea and hot summers give way to the most delicious produce: big fat figs, juicy velvet red tomatoes, sweet peppers, and mega herbs soaked in the salty air of the Mediterranean and so much more just waiting to be snapped from the bounties of local farmers.
The tradition of gathering from your immediate surroundings is very much alive and I love the fierce pride in home-style cooking using foraged ingredients and cooking with recipes concocted centuries ago.
I recently stayed at a gorgeous 18th century Masseria, got my hands oily, immersed myself in learning to cook healthy Puglian food and made a mean “le orecchietto fresche alle cime di rapa.” One of the best ways to truly experience this unique culture is through its food and wine.
Our daily routine: after breakfast we walked along the medieval narrow streets of town, knocking on the doors of the farmers who displayed their veggies and fruits on little chairs outside the doors of their homes. We bought what we needed for the morning cooking class. In the afternoon we went to the harbor, just in time for the arrival of fishing boats and bought the freshest fish for our class for dinner.
Cooking courses are my new adventures. There is an array of destinations in culinary travel throughout Puglia and I have set out to discover the best and the most authentic.
If you are curious, let me craft a memorable foodie holiday for you.