A “delicious” experience with the traditional food of Salento.
What if we were asked to say what is – in our opinion – one of the most defining features of Salento?
Of course, we’d say “tradition”!
The seaside towns of Salento are really unique and peculiar, because the farming culture and the fishing culture merge and create an amazing atmosphere.
The best way to experience this fusion is to taste the traditional food of Salento, which satisfy even the most demanding gourmands.
If you walk through the streets of Leuca, especially on Sundays at lunchtime, you can catch the smell of mouth-watering foods coming out of the windows.
Of course, many ingredients “recommended” by the Mediterranean diet are used, which means that lots of vegetables and fruits are consumed.
Broad beans, aubergines and artichokes are the most popular, but also tomatoes (especially those from Morciano di Leuca) and chili peppers deserve a mention. The locals call the latter “diavulicchi” (“little devils”), because of their extremely spicy taste, which recalls the flames of hell!
“Ciceri e tria” is no doubt the most popular of the first dishes: a portion of chickpeas is served with semolina pasta that is homemade, cut into strips and fried.
Since Leuca is a maritime town, fish occupies a relevant place in its cuisine: soups, seafood dishes, grilled or fried fish… You are spoiled of choice, especially in August, when the local festival of fried fish takes place.
We also suggest the “pupiddhri”, small fishes that are typical of the area and that are fried and marinated.
The side dishes can be accompanied by the delicious “pittule” (dough balls prepared with semolina and fried) while the stone oven (another element of the culinary tradition, fuelled by olive wood) will surprise you with delicious products such as wheat bread and “friselle” (ring-shaped pieces of dough that are baked twice). The “friselle” are usually seasoned with simple ingredients (olive oil, tomatoes and salt), so that you can better taste every single ingredient.
If you want to consume a complete meal but with only one dish, you can taste the “pitta”, which is a kind of focaccia made with potatoes and stuffed with vegetables, black olives, tomatoes, onions and a morsel of meat cooked in the “pignata” (an earthenware casserole typical of the region).
For a meal with all the trimmings, don’t miss (for dessert, for example) the delicious “pasticciotti”, sweet pastries that are probably the most known traditional food of Salento.
Extra-virgin olive oil and wine deserve particular attention, because they are the pride of Puglia and are considered to be veritable works of art, even objects of worship.
What else…? We would be really glad to welcome you to our hotel in Santa Maria di Leuca!
Take part in this incredible experience and discover the authentic side of Salento!