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Apulian Cooking
Puccia, pizzi and other delicacies Plain or with olives, onion, tomato etc., they are an irresistible Apulian street food.
It’s better not to make them at home as to get the best results you need professional ovens
by Dario Ersetti
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Freshly baked piscialette. Photo by Dario Ersetti

It’s hard to find a traditional product that sticks so little to tradition. We are talking about the Apulian puccia, a close relation to the piscialetta, the uliata and the pizzo. Generally speaking, these types of bread are made of durum wheat flour and differ from each other in ingredients, preparation and size. Pizzi, with olives and tomato, are small but may also be larger, pucce with olives are big but may also be smaller with no olives, a piscialetta is like a puccia but also contains tomatoes and oil and the dough is kneaded longer, making it softer, while the uliata is smaller than the puccia. Finally, the puccia for the Immaculate Conception, which is eaten on 7 December, the Eve of the feast-day, and is the plainest of all since it has no added ingredients, differs from the others on the outside, being coated lightly in flour which makes it white.

As for ingredients, as we said the tradition is not strictly followed and we find different combinations and proportions of onions, pumpkin, olives, capers, salty anchovies, tomatoes, chili peppers, tomato seeds, oil, ricotta forte, and even stewed broccoli rabe.

These specialties cannot be made at home because the making of the dough and the kind of oven used are essential elements in obtaining good quality, but fortunately all the bakeries that make them produce excellent results. Water, twice-milled durum wheat flour, mother yeast and salt are the basic ingredients.

All these goodies should be eaten as they are, except pucce which are often made without added ingredients and eaten filled with salami, bell peppers and so on, as if they were sandwiches. As well as in bakeries, they can be found in many eateries because the puccia seems to have become all the rage with tourists.

There is also a “puccia alla spàsa”, which is actually a focaccia filled with onions, tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies and chili peppers.

Enjoy!

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