A menu that is a manifesto of values and territory: here's what to eat in the farm, to feel a little Apulian
In Italy, being at the table tells who we are. In the round of raw oil on the vegetables, in the slice of bread we use to make the shoe, in the wine we pour our friends. In every gesture and dish it is written which region we come from or which one we fell in love with. And each region to be fully understood needs a lunch, homemade. In Puglia you can take the real journey into culture in the Masseria.
Farm of the Barnaba sisters
Among the unkempt olive trees of the upper Murgia, a few minutes from Bari, the farm of the Barnaba sisters welcomed me with a blue sky, the wind coming from the sea and a selection of oils to taste. With the glasses in hand, I immediately immersed myself in that scent of grass and enjoyed that slight tingle in my throat. There are actually three oils in the catalog, coming from 15 different cultivars, but Coralina is mine Madeleine, immediately comes that memory of bread and tomato that takes me back to childhood.
The Barnaba sisters know that there is no better way to discover a place than to touch the earth with your own hands and what the earth itself produces. That's why in the farm with them you can try to collect olives, work at the mill or with a nice kilogram of flour on the table try to prepare pasta, as I did, with the inflexible guidance of the housewives. And away to turn the orecchiete, cavatelli and strascinati on the knife!
The agricultural restaurant
Sitting at a table in the restaurant "A passo d'olio", you enter a family dimension that feels like Sunday and you seem to be able to see grandmother appear from the door. Instead it is the smile of the waitresses that peeks out, together with the scent of the kitchen.
The word "appetizer" does not honor the dishes that are first served on the table. Each tells of a piece of vegetable garden, of a producer, neighbor, of a peasant tradition: who can resist in front of the Mashed beans and chicory or at bread balls with sauce?
The list is endless: eggplant parmigiana, green beans, cheese and cherry tomatoes, chops with sauce, salami from Martinafranca, cheeses and focaccias from nearby Masseria Lisi.
To conclude – but only because the space for the second is impossible to find – a plate of orecchiette made with my hands with sauce or turnip greens. This is how you understand Puglia a little more, in all its simple incredible genuine wealth.
Photo by Sofie Delauw