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san martino in italy: puglia's 'thanksgiving'

It’s not incidental that our favourite holiday here in Puglia- San Martino, which falls each year on November 11th- also happens to fall close to the American holiday of Thanksgiving, as both tend to be about the season’s bounty, and pausing for a moment to reflect on it.

Our version involves the year’s first citrus fruits, roasting smoky and flaky chestnuts and eating great quantities of roasted meats, which we do in the baron’s fireplace at the castle.


It’s also when the new wine comes out each year, released by law just days before the holiday.



Decidedly autumnal, the chill in the air seems to beg for the bigger red wines of Puglia. And the nurishing winter stews, a generous drizzle of the new oil, providing a green jolt of black pepper to the taste buds.


Tomorrow I’ll tell you about one of the projects we do each year for San Martino here at the castle in Puglia. We hope you can make it some day. Keep at eye out for the second part of this post tomorrow. And drink some red from Puglia today, wherever you are.

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Silvestro Silvestori
Sommelier / Owner / Director of The Awaiting Table Cookery School, Lecce, Italy

Silvestro Silvestori, the owner, founder and director of The Awaiting Table Cookery School, Lecce, Italy has been teaching the food and wine of Puglia and particular- Italy’s Salentine peninsula since 2003. In addition to his knowledge of Pugliese food and culture, Silvestro is a nationally-certified sommelier in Italy, and a staff writer for Wine & Spirits magazine, covering all their Southern Italian food and wine content. He has also appeared on American, Australian, Belgian, British, Chinese, Dutch and Italian television, and Italy’s most respected newspaper called him, ‘A national treasure’, and ‘THE anthropologist of the traditional cuisine of the Salento’ for his work in preservation and promotion of Salentine’s food and wine.