FOOD TASTING in Lecce
Vegetables, oil, bread and pasta, expertly mixed and measured, are the basic ingredients of Leccese gastronomy. Orecchiette, maccheroncini and tagliatelle pastas are the champions among the first courses.
Condiments range from simple and fresh tomato sauce flavored with basil and pecorino or cacioricotta cheese, to turnip greens, tender lamb meat or fresh local fish.
Vegetables are used to make unique delicious dishes like eggplant parmigiana and taieddhra, a triumph of flavors made with potatoes, zucchini, onions, and mussels seasoned with grated cheese. Pizza and focaccia are another characteristic element of the cuisine of Salento. Enriched with vegetables and seasoned with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, they are a real treat.
And do not forget the frise, toasted bread softened in water and seasoned with juicy tomatoes from Apulia, rucola and olive oil, a meal that peasants in the past would eat quickly during their short lunch break.
Among the main courses, rolls of tripe and lamb entrails cooked in broth or roasted on the grill, lamb with potatoes and, of course, recipes based on fish roasted or fried, in soup or baked. Urchins, mussels and oysters eaten "raw" are for those who love the strong taste of the sea.
Among the desserts, you can choose between the pasticciotto filled with custard cream, Lecce cotognata, dried figs and taralli. Also try the mostaccioli, coated with chocolate and made with grape juice and jam.
Aleatico, Squinzano, Cupertino, Galatina, Leverano Matino, Nardo and Salento are the wines of Salento. Do not forget the olive oil produced here as well, under the label Terra d'Otranto DOP.