From Salento with love to winning over the world!
Today we are talking about a special culinary product: a frisa (plural: frise), or frisella or frisedda is a baked good which is hard like bruschetta but in a ring shape like a tarallo. It is made with wheat flour and baked twice to get the right crispness. The frisa is a typical Salento food, today made in the whole of Puglia, known not only for its simplicity but also for its versatility. In each restaurant in Puglia, they are served as a starter along with cherry tomatoes, soaked in olive oil, and with salt and rosemary.
There are dozens of different types: small, large, softer, harder, ones to wet with water, and ones to eat dry. They all have the advantage that they go great with vegetables, cheese and cured meats. As well as the traditional version with oil, tomatoes and oregano, you could try a version with lampascioni onions or turnips or with tuna, salami or cheese. To each his own!
Some say that the original Salento frisa has no hole in the middle. Is that true? We’ll let you have fun asking around!
The popularity of frise has also given rise to some fascinating stories: one says that Aeneas introduced them when he arrived at Otranto; another says that the Crusaders, departing from Salento for a long period at war, needed a substantial food supply with a long shelf life, and this may have led the people of Salento to invent them.
In fact this highlights one of the good things about frise (in addition to their taste): their very long shelf life makes them perfect for export. We assure you that in the “coolest” restaurants in London they are served as a delicacy (and at great cost) accompanied by extra virgin olive oil strictly from Puglia. Can you imagine what effect it has on a Salento native, when a waiter in white gloves serves up a selection of frise with olive oil, the same kind that you can buy from the local bakery or cook in the oven? It makes them proud!
A food so humble, simple, genuine, and enriched with local ingredients, we are sure it will win you over and make your holiday all the more sensational. Whether at the sea in Leuca, in the countryside or on a walk in the Parco Costa Otranto-Leuca, frisa is also the ideal snack when you’re out and about!
When in Salento you can’t help but go into a bakery to buy frise, to try the various types made from different flours and choose the one that best suits you to take home and relive the flavours of your holiday for as long as possible.