Sentori di Puglia
by: Francesco Liotino
Francesco Liotino completed his high school studies at a hotel school and from 2009, together with his brother Gianfranco, had the desire to collaborate and create. And so they decided to open a panino store, La Baita, in the heart of Polignano a Mare.
Francesco has always had a passion for cooking ever since he was 16 years old, when he decided to emigrate to Riccione and work as a chef’s hand in a hotel.
In January 2018 he was chosen among ten finalists at the Agritech Panino Artist’s competition, presenting his vegan ricotta panino using typical Pugliese ingredients.
Classic Puccia of Salento 120 gr, Classic bombette of Martina Franca, Burrata of Andria, Purple carrot chips from Polignano a Mare, patè of wild broccoli, local fried poverella style zucchini from zero km distance with calamint and vinegar.
The idea to invent, create and propose a panino with ingredients and tastes that are all Pugliese has been around for a long time, but it was strengthened even more so when reading an important phrase pronounced by the Emperor Federico II, who, once during a meal, referred to Puglia as a region that could have provided everything possible for a meal, exclaimed that it was “evident that The God of the Jews didn’t know Puglia and the Capitanata otherwise He wouldn’t have given his people Palestine as the Promised Land”. This is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Being a land that is rich with history and culture, but above all that boasts an important and imposing culinary art, between two fragrant bread slices I tried to place all the best products coming from the north to the south of the region. It was difficult to resist the wonderful smell of the puccia of Salento, a typical soft bread, cooked on stone, and stuffed with succulent, dressed meat or pork, also the classic bombette of Puglia, were a must. In order to add flavour and crunchiness, as someone who originates and is very proud of being Polignanese, I decided to include the purple oven roasted carrot chips of San Vito. We wanted to add even more flavour to the recipe, and so an important dairy item was chosen. It is extremely fresh and with a unique taste, among the most loved flavours of Puglia, and is an emblem of the city of Andria: the burrata. Following the ancient traditions and habits, there is a true secret to making a new masterpiece, and the poverella style fried zucchini is a demonstration of this: it is a rural specialty in the authentic Pugliese tradition. The protagonists of the Bari culinary tradition are the wild broccoli, one of the most grown vegetables in the south of Italy that are used to give flavour to many dishes. In this case in the form of a paté, which was a true treat for the palate. Finally, this rich recipe is born from the desire and the understanding to connect to the land, going back to the slow and methodical way of working on the land, as well as giving value to the technical aspects of the cultivation and the preparation of the ingredients that have also changed over time from the era of our grandparents up until today. The desire is to not lose or abandon these traditions but be proud of them.
Wash the purple carrot well and cut it lengthways using a potato peeler, place it in a dish and add evo oil and salt and then mix it to distribute the condiments well. Place it on a dish lined with kitchen paper and cook for 20/25 minutes at 180° in a fan forced oven. The carrot must be dry and crunchy. To make them even tastier, the four classic bombetta of Martina Franca are cooked in a frying pan. Heat some oil and lightly fry them all over so that they form a light crust. Add a pinch of salt and continue to cook over a slow heat, covering the frying pan with a lid. Cut three slices of burrata of Andria. In another, large, frying pan, pour a large amount of evo oil, heat it and add thinly sliced zucchini, previously dried and dehydrated. Cook them for around 10 minutes, moving them around without breaking them. During the cooking time, place some chopped calamint on top to add aroma. Take the frying pan off the heat and add more calamint and a few drops of vinegar. Cut the Puccia of Salento and heat it at a low heat in order to make it crunchy. On one side of the bread, spread the patè of wild broccoli, place the classic bombette of Martina Franca on top, together with the three slices of sliced burrata di Andria, the purple carrot chips from Polignano and the traditionally made poverella style fried zucchini. Place together the two sides of the bread. The puccia of Salento is now ready to delight your senses.
Sapori di Casa di Conversano Company.
Thanks to the particular attention given to their biological agricultural procedures, this company offers a vast array of choice of simple products, produced and packaged by hand with original recipes, often inherited through gastronomic tradition and handed down over generations. Wild broccoli is one of the most harvested vegetables in the south of Italy. Also this company, for years, cultivates in the same areas where their grandparents worked. Today these vegetables are worked with extra virgin olive oil, lemon, almonds, garlic and salt to then be conserved in the form of a patè.
Macelleria Chiantera in Polignano A Mare. The passion for this work was handed down from father to son and this demonstrates a professionalism and the quality with which Mr Giuseppe, since 1982, produces fresh ground meat from certified areas.
Soft, tasty and flavoursome, the bombette are a small sack of pork, finely sliced, full of Pugliese cheese, salt and pepper. It is the queen of the barbecue in the long, Pugliese summer.
Produced by Garofalo Food Srl, a company that has their main location amongst the hills of the Province of Bari.
The indisputable quality of the products is determined by precise selection of the base ingredients; born from agricultural products that were exclusively cultivated in the local area, such as durum wheat semolina ground together with extra virgin olive oil: genuine ingredients that meld unique flavour and aromas.
The puccia, a soft bread, typical of Puglia, is around 150 grams, and is presented in a round form, hand-made and dressed with extra virgin olive oil. It is made with 00 soft wheat flour and durum wheat semolina.
The burrata is produced by the Caseificio Artigiana of Putignano. This cheese factory was founded in 2001 in Putignano, within dry plastered walls and the extensive fields of Bari, with the objective of giving value to and promoting the excellence and uniqueness of the Pugliese gastronomy, placing great focus on the three elements of: food, territory of origin and sustainable development.
To an untrained eye, it seems to be a normal mozzarella, however this is only the appearance. If you untie the green knot and cut through the mozzarella with a knife, after initial resistance, the knife will cut through smoothly as it meets the soft heart of cream: this is the burrata of Andria, that reached IGP (geographically protected quality) recognition a year ago.
To be eaten freshly, this special cheese has a delicate and sweet flavour, with a slightly acidic aftertaste.
Zucchini alla poverella
The poverella style fried zucchini are produced by Ortofrutticola Il Portico in Polignano a Mare, one of the first companies to complete the cultivation and the production of the product in the same place. The motto is: from the producer to the consumer.
In Puglia, “povero” or poor, means “ricco” or rich. Rich in knowledge, taste and secrets. It’s true, the expression “poverella style” means poverty that once was, or rather, the extreme simplicity of a recipe and its preparation, which is also synonymous with family and authenticity. Hearing from a Pugliese grandmother how to prepare the zucchini poverella style enrichens your knowledge and pleasure of cooking. Finally, apart from the frying pan and its ingredients, it is the sun of the south that is the most important and precious ingredient.
The Colorata Farm of Polignano A Mare Farm, comprised of farmers all from the area who, for years, with both passion and sacrifice, dedicated themselves to the planting and harvesting of this unusual carrot of the local territory.
Known also as the carrot of San Vito, thanks to the sowing being carried out in a fairly restricted area of around 10 to 20 metres, right in the region of San Vito, it represents an ecological type of carrot.
It obtained recognition from the Presidents of Slow Food as an example of a new model of agriculture, based on quality, the use of flavour and traditional production techniques.