- Food & Wine
Lecce and province
SAGRA TE LI PAMPASCIUNI
1st Friday of March
It is an ancient festival. The cult te li pampasciuni is such because the whole territory of Acaja is rich and collectors are experts in identifying and sacrificing them, fried, fried, roasted on the grill, in the oven or with the bean purée, omelette, Genoese, stewed, preserved in oil or in vinegar.
AQUARICA DEL CAPO (LE)
Last week of July
It is not a very old festival. If anything, the product is ancient.
They prepare an average of a quintal of friseddhe and are consumed seasoned in various ways and never without olive oil, watering them with red wine from Salento.
There is no lack of karaoke, smooth and theatrical performances, dances, pizzica and folklore with pieces of popular music of Salento.
FESTIVAL OF POTATO SIEGLINDE
15th -16th July
The festival that takes place in Felline, a town near Alliste, is dedicated to the check and sieglinde; the second is a long yellow potato.
Great participation of gourmet tourists in consideration of the fame that miss sieglinde has won in the past years when in the square was offered fried, stewed and baked.
Always crunchy or soft, tasty for the availability to accompany with sauces, meats, fish, pasta and even desserts.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLE SAG
The first edition of the festival dates back to 1992 and the idea was born to introduce local products to the holiday makers.
In particular, these are dishes based on peppers, aubergines, bruschetta, zucchini, olives, tomatoes and anything else produced in the surrounding countryside; also grilled meat.
All accompanied by good wine from Salento and lots of fruit, including the queen of summer: watermelon.
And then dance competitions, folk dances, food stands and display of lace and embroidery.
FESTIVALS OF MUNICEDDHA
The party is an opportunity to raise awareness of the snails that, from tradition, want to be cooked in three ways: roasted, with sauce and sautéed.
Every year there is a great success with the public who devotes eyes and palate to the municeddhe.
Along with the snails, during the festival, there will be tastings of peppers with sauce, aubergines with garlic, chilli and mint, peppers, anchovies and ricotta forte, skewers of meat.
FESTIVAL OF THE PIG AND TE LU MIERU
The festival of the pig and te lu mieru, that is wine, takes place in the streets of the town in an indescribable participation of enthusiasts, attracted by the genuineness of the pig cooked in water, salt and pepper or roasted.
At the festival there is also the Ognissanti fair where there is a vast display of farm animals, farming tools, ancient and modern, from petrol-powered saws to large tractors.
CASTRIGNANO DEI GRECI (LE)
FESTIVAL OF THE RUSTIC PITTA
30th July – 1st August
It is a recent festival, even if with very ancient roots in the farming world. In fact, the preparation of the pitta is lost in popular memory because, being excellent even when it is cold, was prepared by women and consumed during the day by farmers in the breaks of work in the fields. Today it is organized to keep alive the Greek traditions of the place and to attract the many tourists, not only Italians, but also Germans, English and French, who spend their holidays on the coast.
SAGRA DELLE COZZE
First of all raw, as long as they are kept in clean water or have been purged in special tabulators. Mussels are among the most appreciated seafood by the gourmets, but also the riskiest.
So to fully enjoy the bitter taste of these seafood delicacies, to enjoy the beautiful colors and scents of mussels, it is better to check before their origin.
Those of Castro, just because proposed in a festival are exceptionally good and safe.
Those who intend to seafood, the mussels consumes them with a few drops of lemon that enhances the marine taste of the mussel.
The ideal is then to accompany them with white wine to choose from the best of Salento.
Finally, there are other uses in the kitchen of mussels: in pepper, with spaghetti in white or with hanging tomatoes, au gratin, open on the fire, with paternoster pasta, with tarantina, in salad, in fish soups, in fried tiella, with beans and minuicchi, in sea risottos; all specialties that can be tasted at the Castro festival.
SARRA OF SARSA
The sarsa festival speaks volumes about the imagination and the popular desire to celebrate with foods that recall the family traditions of the good old times.
In fact, the sarsa is a delicious delicacy based on fried and flavored fish; it is prepared with small blue fishes especially with (vope and anchovies); after having gutted them. They are fried, salted and arranged in layers in terracotta containers and seasoned with breadcrumbs, garlic, mint, chilli pepper and vinegar, and also saffron.
FESTIVAL OF PEPPERS AND EGGPLANTS
1st weekend of August
The first festival dates back to 1994 and has met with increasing success, for fried aubergines (remember the famous Parmigiana), fried and stuffed peppers.
Parmigiana and fries are made on site, in homes, and exposed on stalls according to all strict rules of hygiene.
A show for the eyes: red, green, yellow, purple, of the two vegetables and a joy for the nose and the palate when you cook them roasted, in a pan, in a pan, or put them in a preserve.
The party is cheered with good wine, bread music with the participation of folk groups and accordion players.
The Madonna of abundance centuries ago intervened with determination to avert the drought that starved the people of the countryside.
The desired rain came and the crops, especially the wheat, were saved. The farmers celebrated and probably from that distant episode was born the current festival that was held in Melito (so called because it seems that once there was produced honey).
On the place was also built a sanctuary in honor of the Madonna.
On the stalls, the bakers have hundreds of loaves in the shape of dolls and sacred faces; while in the other pavilions there are cheeses, cured meats, meat, horse meat with meat sauce, but also Salento wine and beer.
SAGRA DELLA GASTRONOMIA
It is a fairly young festival, but has already established itself as an opportunity for aggregation and involvement and therefore always manages in the best way.
They come from the neighboring villages and the beaches of the coast, attracted by the aromas and the goodness of the dishes served with extra virgin olive oil and with the sauce … of traditional recipes, dictated by the peasant culture.
Do not miss the desserts based on almonds and white, red and rosatelli wines of Salento and also lots of light and folk music.
SAGRA OF S. ANTONIU TE LE FOCARE
In honor of St. Anthony of Padua, protector of the country since 17 February 1810 saved Cutrofiano from the earthquake.
A religious festival therefore, but with characteristics that make it identify as a festival: in particular, the food stands for tasting dishes and typical wines, the bonfires are lit in hundreds at intersections of roads, so that it is difficult to transit if not for the main streets.
The bonfires are lit at the return home after the procession, around the fire gather those who contributed to the realization of the pyre, consuming various foods and accompanied by improvised orchestras.
A winter festival that prepares a suggestive bonfire in Piazza Cavallotti and continues the tasting of typical dishes in the historic center; all accompanied with typical dances such as pizzica.
FESTIVAL OF CECORA REST
3rd week of September
The festival is held in the Boario forum on the occasion of the “Settembre culturale talentino”.
It is dedicated to a plant as humble as it is exquisite: dandelion or dandelion; in cicoriella slang.
At the party of Lecce the cecora remains, or wild chicory, they serve it dressed with pork, wine and bread, both renowned from the Salento area.
This simple vegetable, rich in protein, is cooked in different ways: with beans, prince pugliese dish, boiled and seasoned with oil and lemon, soldered in a pan, stewed with garlic, oil and chilli.
SAGRA DEI PITTULE
It is a festival that is always very appreciated, perhaps because it gives way to Christmas festivals, or for the good wine that circulates with the painters.
In reality it is a festival based on tradition whose recipe is: the band, the fireworks, the illuminations, the white wine or rosatello of Salento.
Not to mention the choreography of frying in the former covered market, near the seventeenth-century bridge, a quintal and a half of flour is treated with water and leavened, while on a dozen of cookers the oil is blended.
So some ladies in aprons perform the alchemy of the transformation of flour, water and yeast, into those crisp, soft and golden as universal pancakes.
SAGRA DI SAN GIOVANNI
This Giuggianello festival, one of the most spontaneous and typical country festivals dating back to the Middle Ages, is linked to the cult of S. G. Battista. It takes place in front of the crypt dedicated to the Saint, in a very beautiful natural environment due to the presence of olive trees, jujubes and Mediterranean scrub.
Mass is celebrated and afterwards we stop on the spot to sing, dance, and eat cheese, castrated in the oven or pignata.
Even the gnommareddhi of entrails of lamb, are among the dishes offered with good bread and even better wine.
SAGRA OF ANCIENT FLAVORS
“The geography, the history, and the spirituality of a people are not well known if the kitchen is not wise”.
Giuliano is a village of 500 souls, three kilometers from Leuca, in Salento. In summer, the inhabitants double for the arrival of the emigrants, while there is a crowd of tourists for the festival of ancient flavors.
During the festival you can taste dishes such as: la ma renna, that is bread fried in olive oil, which in these parts of Salento is exceptional, with turnips, aromatized beans, garlic and chilli; the fried, or mixed wild vegetable, and much more, in all there are 35 dishes, many are the dishes offered in the evening of the festival and, among these, desserts based on almond paste.
Red wine, white rosatello from Salento.
It is a well-initiated festival. It’s an opportunity to have a big party with the band, the fireworks and to welcome the emigrants. The participation of tourists is high.
Friseddha is served with oil, tomato, oregano and rocket.
The festival is also an opportunity to get to know the other bakery products of Salento because in the square are set up stands with bread shapes, taralli, pucce with black olives and onion, clusters of tomatoes on the wire, ears of wheat, the best bottles of wine of the province.
FESTIVAL OF THE CURED FLY
2nd or 3rd decade of October
The festival was born about a decade ago among olive growers who thought of celebrating a good harvest of olives inviting the people in the square to share their satisfaction.
One of Martano’s specialties is represented by the volia cazzate, crushed olives, with bread, wine and pots of pezzetti, that is meat with sauce, bruschette, pettole. Thus was born one of the most beautiful festivals of Salento, which over time has grown in importance, but fortunately, has not lost all its characteristics of the country.
FALSE OF GRIKA SALAD AND SAUSAGE
End of June or beginning of July
The festival takes place in a country of ancient Greek origins, as there are many in Salento; countries where we still speak a dialect mixed between Puglia and Greek, called precisely griko.
Many traditions preserved over time and among these also gastronomic ones appreciated by tourists who crowd the coast in the summer and wait with interest at the festivals held in the countries of “Greca Salentina”.
In Martignano the party lasts even three days and is typical for the tasting of grika salad that accompanies the sausage roasted on the grill.
SANG OF THE WATERMELON
It is a very genuine and home-made festival, which is why it is so popular with tourists.
Watermelon is the queen and, in order not to deny its reputation for goodness and freshness, it is consumed hundreds of kilos by its devotees, who at dawn on the 22nd participate in an evocative religious ceremony in the chapel of Santa Maria Maddalena. In the evening, always in the company of this delicious and fresh summer fruit, in the village the party continues with band music, lights and fireworks.
SAGRA OF SAN VITO
For this festival there are many specialties such as: boiled pork, roast, or the delicious cecore to mention wild chicory cooked in broth with the allpare; sturdy dishes that need glasses of good Talentino wine.
These and other ingredients of a festival that attracts many visitors.
Also stalls are set up with other products such as: celery, radishes, fennel vegetables in general.
SAGRA OF MELAGRANA
The festival is over twenty years old and has been included in the thousand-year fair-market that sees an extraordinary turnout of people coming from Lecce, Brindisi and neighboring countries.
In Palmariggi everyone works in honor of this fruit, in fact the pomegranate is the queen for Lucullian binge of typical products of Salento, such as fresh and aged cheeses, wine and salentini bread.
PORTO BADISCO (LE)
SAGRA DEL RICCIO
1st or 2nd decade of August
On the day of the festival, hundreds of tourists pour into the small bay of Porto Badisco where the fishermen serve free curls.
Only five a head that obviously are not enough to satisfy the gluttony of gourmets who buy it again using a teaspoon, or better, pieces of bread.
PORTO CESAREO (LE)
SAGRA TE LU QUATARU
The festival has exceeded thirty editions. The latter have been organized with great enthusiasm, linking them also to cultural initiatives, sporting and musical events, competitions of flowered balconies, decorations of fishmongers, folk performances, exhibitions, fish market and conferences on tourism.
FESTIVAL TE LU CAVADDU IN LA PIGNATA
The end of August
The festival has recently been founded, but the success was such that it was decided to make it last for at least three days.
At the festival of Seclì excellent cooks prepare the meat with stew in pots.
A long skillful cooking, and then the portions are ready for distribution with local bread and wine. The party is also composed of musical performances.
SAGRA TE LU CUNTADINU
The festival has only been organized for some years to “revive the landscape that our countries had many years ago through the smells and colors of the festival”. You can state this principle only by tasting traditional foods such as: peperonate, potato pitta, pitta rustica, pittule, courgettes and peppers dried in the sun and cooked with fresh tomatoes and beans cooked in pignata and still homemade pasta, for the occasion made in a stand in the square where the housewives perform in the preparation of sagne, minchiarieddhi and orecchiette.
The festival also offers roast pork ribs and skewers, wine and local bread. Furthermore, the faithful reconstruction of the farmer’s house is composed of the furniture, furnishings and tools used to work the fields and to breed geese, chickens, rabbits, also exhibited in the court te lu contadinu, usually enriched by exhibitions of handmade embroidery. Unmissable the music of the Salentinian folk groups.
FESTIVAL OF CAZZATEDDHA
3rd week of June
The cazzateddha is a crushed bread, slightly leavened, like an Arab pita, consumed once by the peasants.
It is beautiful to see and … enjoy because it maintains the simplicity and the original characteristics of the peasant fasta.
The festival is also an opportunity to discover other delicacies such as pittule, horse meat and potatoes in pignata, roasted slices, meatballs, frize and wine. The event is always enlivened by performances of popular and classical music, dances of smooth in the square.
FESTIVAL OF PISCIALLETTA
The festival has a recent history, dating back only to 1990 but, thanks to a very old gastronomic tradition, it came back into vogue thanks to the party that takes place in summer when many tourists flow along the coast. A way, therefore, to make known the other local products with the piscialletta.
TORRE VADO (LE)
SAGRA DEL MARE
It is one of the rare festivals held concurrently with sacred festivities. In Torre Vado, the party for Maria Stella Maris is all about the cult of the sea.
The procession of fishing boats and boats of the vacationers precedes the feast of fried fish on the marina.
We consume 4 or 5 quintals of cod, calamari, vope and anything else the fishermen managed to fish the night before.
During the party there is no lack of white wine from Salento, bread, friselle and pucce.
Always present some band complex or folk groups, concert in the courtyard of the castle.
SAGRA OF THE PIG
The festival was founded in 1991, the year of the establishment of the committee for the celebrations of the SS.Medici.
But it is from time immemorial that in Uggiano, as in many countries of Salento, the cooked pork is consumed by boiling it with salt and various aromas. It is cooked on the square in front of the Sanctuary and along the procession route. To taste this delicacy, the many faithful of good taste are joined by devotees from all over the countryside.