A guide to food & drink in

Puglia, also known as Apulia, is a stunning region located in the heel of Italy's boot. With a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and delicious cuisine, it is no surprise that Puglia has become a popular destination for food and wine enthusiasts. Puglia's cuisine is deeply rooted in its history, and the region's culinary traditions reflect its agricultural and coastal heritage.

In this guide, we will take a closer look at the food and drink of Puglia, from the region's signature dishes to its world-renowned wines. Whether you're planning a trip to Puglia or simply curious about its culinary offerings, this guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the region's food and drink scene.

Apulian Breakfast Choices

As the saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and in Puglia, breakfast is no exception. In fact, breakfast in Puglia is a beloved ritual that locals take very seriously. With a focus on fresh, high-quality ingredients and simple yet delicious flavours, Apulian breakfast choices are a great way to start your day off right. Let’s explore some of the most popular breakfast options in Puglia, from traditional pastries to savoury dishes that will satisfy the heartiest of appetites.

Breakfast Puccia

A breakfast puccia is a typical Apulian sandwich that is commonly enjoyed as a quick and satisfying breakfast option. It consists of a round, flatbread made from a mixture of wheat and barley flour, known as "puccia," which is then sliced open and filled with a variety of ingredients. The most common fillings for a breakfast puccia include eggs, bacon, cheese, and tomato, although other meats, vegetables, and spreads can also be added to suit personal tastes.


Pasticciotto is a traditional pastry that hails from the Salento area of Puglia.

This sweet treat is made with a shortcrust pastry shell that is filled with a rich, creamy custard made with eggs, milk, sugar, and lemon zest. Pasticciotto can be enjoyed at any time of day, but it is especially popular as a breakfast pastry or as a mid-morning snack with coffee.

The best pasticciotto can be found in artisanal bakeries and pastry shops throughout the Salento region, where they are made fresh daily using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients.


Sporcamuss is a beloved pastry in Puglia that is typically enjoyed as a dessert rather than for breakfast. These bite-sized treats are made with puff pastry that is stuffed with a rich and creamy pastry cream, then generously dusted with powdered sugar.

While they may look simple, Sporcamuss are bursting with flavour and texture, with the crispiness of the pastry and the sweetness of the filling creating a delightful contrast.

Apulian Lunch & Dinner Dishes

When it comes to food in Puglia, lunch is the main meal of the day, but you’ll often see these dishes on lunch and dinner menus. With a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and simple yet flavorful preparations, Apulian lunch dishes are a true reflection of the region's agricultural and coastal heritage.

Orecchiette alle cime di rapa – Orecchiette pasta with broccoli rabe

Tiella di cozze – Mussels tiella (a type of baked dish)

Puccia – Puglian-style sandwich

Parmigiana di melanzane – Eggplant parmesan

Sagne 'ncannulate – A type of handmade pasta

Polpette di melanzane – Eggplant meatballs

Tiella di patate, riso e cozze – Potato, rice, and mussel tiella

Purè di fave – Fava bean puree

Pesce alla griglia – Grilled fish

Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino – Spaghetti with garlic, oil, and chili flakes

Polpo alla pignata – Octopus cooked in a terracotta pot

Apulian Snacks & Lighter Dishes

In Puglia, food is not just reserved for mealtimes. Snacking is a beloved pastime, and locals have plenty of delicious options to choose from when it comes to satisfying their cravings between meals. Apulian snacks are typically simple yet flavorful, using fresh, high-quality ingredients to create dishes that are both delicious and satisfying.

Taralli – small rings made from crispy bread dough with oil

Friselle – A type of twice-baked bread that is soaked in water and topped with tomatoes, olive oil, and salt

Focaccia barese – Bari-style focaccia bread

Pane con le olive – Olive bread

Pasticciotto – A type of pastry filled with custard or jam

Rustico – A type of puff pastry filled with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and sometimes ham

Panzerotti – Fried dough filled with cheese, tomato, and sometimes ham

Pittule – Fried dough balls seasoned with salt, pepper, and sometimes anchovies

Caciocavallo – a soft cheese that is slightly salty, spicy and a bit tangy

Burrata – A type of fresh cheese that is similar to mozzarella but with a creamy centre

Fave e cicoria – Fava beans and chicory salad

Pucce – Puglian-style small bread rolls filled with cheese, tomato, and sometimes salami

Crocchè – Fried potato croquettes

Orecchiette di grano arso – Orecchiette pasta made from burnt wheat flour

Olive ascolane – Fried stuffed olives, usually stuffed with meat and cheese

Apulian Beverages

Puglia is a region known for its flavorful cuisine, and what better way to enjoy a meal than with a delicious beverage? From robust wines to comforting hot drinks and refreshing cocktails, Apulian beverages are as diverse and flavourful as the cuisine itself. With a rich history of winemaking and a tradition of using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Puglia offers a range of unique and distinctive beverages that are sure to satisfy any palate.

Apulian Wines

Puglia is known for its excellent wines, many of which are made from indigenous grape varieties. Here's a list of some popular Puglian wines:

Primitivo di Manduria – A full-bodied, robust red wine made from the Primitivo grape, which is believed to be closely related to California's Zinfandel grape.

Negroamaro – Another popular red wine grape variety that produces full-bodied wines with flavours of dark fruit and spice.

Salice Salentino – A red wine produced in the Salento peninsula, characterised by its deep colour and bold flavour.

Castel del Monte – A DOCG wine made from the Nero di Troia grape variety, grown in the area around the town of Andria.

Aglianico del Vulture – A red wine made from the Aglianico grape, grown on the slopes of the Vulture volcano.

Rosato – A light, refreshing rosé wine that pairs well with many Puglian dishes.

Fiano – A white wine grape variety that produces aromatic, crisp wines with flavours of citrus and tropical fruit.

Verdeca – Another white grape variety that is grown in Puglia, producing fresh, dry wines with flavours of apple and pear.

Moscato di Trani – A sweet dessert wine made from the Moscato grape, grown in the area around the town of Trani.

Primitivo di Gioia del Colle – A red wine made from the Primitivo grape, grown in the hills around the town of Gioia del Colle.

Locorotondo – A crisp, refreshing white wine made from the Verdeca and Bianco d'Alessano grape varieties, grown in the area around the town of Locorotondo.

Aleatico di Puglia – A sweet dessert wine made from the Aleatico grape, grown in the area around the town of Lecce.

Gioia del Colle – A DOC wine made from the Primitivo grape, grown in the area around the town of Gioia del Colle.

Cacc'e Mmitte di Lucera – A red wine made from the Uva di Troia grape variety, grown in the area around the town of Lucera.

Martina Franca – A DOC white wine made from the Verdeca and Bianco d'Alessano grape varieties, grown in the area around the town of Martina Franca.

Apulian Hot Drinks

Bombardino – A popular winter drink made with eggnog, brandy, and whipped cream.

Ponce livornese – A hot drink made with rum, lemon juice, sugar, and black tea.

Vin Brule – A warm, spiced wine typically enjoyed during the winter months. The wine is simmered with spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel.

Ginger, honey, and lemon herbal tea – A soothing and refreshing drink made with ginger, honey, and lemon, often enjoyed for its health benefits.

Classic hot chocolate – A rich, creamy hot chocolate made with high-quality chocolate and milk.

Zabaione – A classic Italian dessert drink made with egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala wine.

Caffe Amaretto – An espresso with a shot of amaretto liqueur, topped with whipped cream.

Hot apple cider – A comforting drink made with fresh apple cider and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.

Ponce al mandarino – Similar to Ponce livornese, but with the addition of mandarin orange juice.

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