Eating is one of the pleasures of life, there is nothing to say and in Valle d’Itria in this we are certainly not second to none! A small suggestion, do not make the mistake of refusing a taste or not enjoying the dishes that will be offered to you.
The gastronomic itinerary that we offer will allow you to savour some excellences of the local gastronomy, discovering fascinating places and revealing flavours every day.
We want to be honest with you. The gastronomic tour consists of a selection of truly traditional specialties, those that remember the long and lazy meals of southern families and will almost certainly tickle you, make you mouth water and end up reprogramming your itinerary.
Day 1 #Alberobello and the orecchiette with braciole (meat rolls)
Our tour starts from Alberobello, the city of trulli par excellence, where you can taste the famous orecchiette with meat. A tasty and hearty dish, it is the Sunday dish par excellence, it is not infrequent in fact to smell its irresistible smell while walking on Sunday mornings through the alleys of our villages and towns. A little clarification: the Apulian â€œbraciolaâ€ are meat rolls stuffed with parsley, garlic and cheese slowly cooked in tomato sauce. The sauce is used to season the orecchiette while the braciola are eaten as a main course, in short, a single recipe for two courses, this is peasant wisdom!
To better enjoy this dish, we recommend La Cantina, an excellent restaurant with an intimate atmosphere set in a former wine cellar of the 19th century. After such a lunch, a walk in the monumental area can be a panacea to digest! If you are still not completely satisfied and above all you are a wine lover, we suggest a visit to the Alberobello Wine Museum and to the Albea Winery for a tasting. The museum is located in the large spaces of the upper floor of the cellar and is a tribute to the ecological and agricultural culture of this area.
Day 2 #From Locorotondo’s gnumeredd to the capocollo of Martina Franca
From Alberobello we move to Locorotondo, where we can taste the typical dish of this circler town: the ‘gnummeredd suffuchet’! We know that it is very difficult to pronounce, but it is nothing more than slowly cooked tripe rolls in sauce, which is why they are called “suffuchet” (= suffocated).
To be even more precise, these are offal rolls (liver, lung and kidney in guts) tightened inside lamb or goat intestines, about 5 centimetres in size. It is certainly a gourmand dish in search of strong flavours. If you fall into this situation, we advise you to stop at U’ Curdunn, a delightful restaurant in the historic centre, where the tradition is to be a king.
After a walk along the seafront of Locorotondo, continue towards Martina Franca, but before arriving, enter the countryside and reach a must for wine lovers: the I Pastini winery. You will be welcomed with grace and elegance by a member of the Carparelli family who will lead you to visit the vineyards, the ancient masseria and finally to taste their wines in a suggestive setting.
At this point you can reach Martina Franca, home of the capocollo (cured meat), for some considered the quintessence of the ability of martinesi butchers, capable of enclosing in itself all the unmistakable aroma of the oak and sparkling air of Valle d’Itria. Capocollo is undoubtedly one of the products to taste, inside a sandwich or on its own to appreciate its flavour and its aromas. We recommend Divino Vineria, a wine shop with a restaurant, located just outside Martina Franca. It is the ideal place both for an aperitif and for a dinner. The informal and relaxed atmosphere and the splendid terrace overlooking the Valle d’Itria, make this place the ideal place to end a day wandering. Also recommended are the capocollo strips and the salami chopping board.
Day 3 #From Cisternino ready stoves to Ceglie Messapica biscuits
The last day of our gastronomic tour could only be dedicated to the absolute protagonists of the Valle d’Itria: the bombette (meat roll), which are nothing more than meat rolls stuffed with cheese, sometimes even ham and rolled in pancetta, cooked over embers.
These local delicacies are found in all areas of the Valley but, over the years, Cisternino, thanks to its tradition of the “ready stoves” inside the butcher shops has become the best place to taste the bombette.
But let’s take a step back, with the expression ready stoves we mean those butchers who, having a wood-burning oven, turn into restaurants in the evening, often spartan with paper tablecloths and house wine. You can choose what you want directly from the meat counter and you will be served cooked “at the stove” directly at the table.
To enjoy the best of the bombette we recommend the rotisserie L’Antico Borgo, a simple and characteristic place in the heart of the historic village, where tradition is the master, so go ahead for bombette, donkey chops or meat balls.
After such a lunch we recommend a walk, but if the desire for something good has not yet subsided, take the car and head towards Ceglie Messapica, for a snack based on the traditional cegliesi biscuits called slow food, among the pastry shops available we recommend the Nonna’s Pastry or the Dolci Della Tradizione.