Our December courses
In a recent interview I was asked, after summers, when is the best time to visit Puglia. My reply was this: come in the winter and if you can’t do that come in the spring and if you can’t do that come in the Autumn and if you can’t do that come in the summer.
Winter, everything just makes more sense. Food. Wine. Culture. Let me tell you why.
Our part of Puglia- the deep south- is the Salento and the region is famous as the world’s most pristine example of The Mediterranean Diet, a way of eating that is both globally applauded for both its instant gratification, and as the best way to guaranteed that you won’t die until you’re really, really old. That’s true year ‘round but winter is when the local food and wine are at their absolute best. Citrus is local, often picked the day of. Fish are no longer in their breeding cycles, and thus have a denser and sweeter flesh.
Predominately a red wine region, these full-bodied and generous wines simply make much less sense under the summer sun. In winter though, they seem to smoulder right in your glass.
The greens are at their best, bursting with rich and complex flavour, the vegetables too are at their best, especially the deep green ones (you didn’t really think you could find broccoli raab, rapini or cima di rape in the warmer months, did you?). Chestnuts finish half the meals, still smoking and charred from the fire.
We roast whole rabbits, roast lambs right on the spit and spend more time around the table, talking and laughing, well past midnight.
But it’s also the time of year when the evening passeggiata really expands, the Christmas lights creating an exaggerated talking point. As a school we begin each dinner with a walk around town, the local genius for street and window displays at an annual high.
We hope you visit us next year but really consider visiting us in December, when the city is never prettier, the food never better and your wine glass never empty.
Have questions? Just hit ‘return’. Here in Italy we’re eager hear from you! Even if it’s just to say hello.