Il pesce mediterraneo e il rosato salentino
half-day Fish market and rosè class
Visit a fish market with an expert, learn to cook all fish with only 4 techniques, learn to make fresh pasta from scratch, master 8 local dishes, taste three DOC wines. Was school ever this much fun?
Fish Market and cooking class with an introduction to 3 Rosati Lunch Course
Mediterranean Fish…demystified in a single morning.
Before lunch is over you will learn enough about fish to confidently cook it for the rest of your life, without ever needing a single recipe. And our local pinks just might become your favourite new wines.
Sure, you’ll master pasta making, learn several local seasonal vegetables and a sweet finish but you’ll also begin to understand the relationship between history and architecture, wine and the land and maybe even fall deeply in love with this place.
Where to meet: Under the column of Sant Oronzo in Piazza Sant Oronzo, Lecce’s main square. DO NOT COME TO THE SCHOOL. We go to the market first.
When: Usually Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And upon request.
Length of course: From 10:00 to around 15:00
Taught in: English
Cost: 145 Euro per person (View Cooking Class Calendar)
Our five hour fish market and rosè wine course
We meet under the column in Piazza Sant Oronzo, Lecce’s main square for a quick introduction to the region of Puglia and the role that the Salento places in that.
We’ll take our woven baskets and head to the fish market.
Walking, we’ll pass some of the most famous palaces in all of Southern Italy and we’ll use them as a prompt for a quick lesson on baroque architecture (you’ll begin to see it differently when you conceive of it as the Church’s heavy artillery at the time, aimed at an illiterate population).
Passing through a sculpture garden you’ll see the art of Lecce’s second favourite son (a recording of Ave Maria as song by Lecce’s first son is played over the entire historic centre of Lecce at 12 noon, and you’ll hear that too).
You’ll meet Salvatore and Spartico, our trusted fishmongers and you’ll get a quick tour of all the fish they have for sale on their marble slab. We’ll discuss 4 simple cooking techniques that you could use to cook all of it, round fish, flat fish, cephalopods and shellfish.
We’ll discuss how the lack of tides in the Mediterranean affects fish prices and how fish from an ocean, lake, river or stream are all more alike that different.
We’ll head to the city’s main vegetable market and discuss why it’s the vegetables of Puglia and the Salento that merit more of your attention.
Back at the Lecce school we’ll wash up, slip into aprons and begin to make fresh pasta from scratch, which is easily Italy’s healthiest. (It’s usually the time we hear Ave Maria played over the entire historic centre as well).
We’ll learn about how the source of flour drives local pasta shape, texture and colour and just why ours is so healthy (Hint: It has to do with the short -chain fatty acids and the human biome).
We’ll move into the fish and vegetable lesson and then, using your new appreciation and skills, you’ll prepare it all: Antipasto, primo, secondo, 4 vegetable side dishes and a dolce, all typical, all local.
We’ll move into the dinning room and talk about why the pink wines of this part of Italy are so justifiable famous (and too, consumed here just as much in February as July). We’ll begin to understand the role of grape skins and their affect on a wine’s flavour, texture and colour.
We’ll do a tasting of three and you’ll learn how to taste wine critically. Lunch will start to arrive and we’ll discuss why each wine pairs best with which course.
Lunch will run along and you’ll meet fascinating people from all over the world, each madly in love with Italian food and wine.
We’ll walk you back to the main piazza around 15:00 (3pm) and say our goodbyes.
The next day we’ll email you each other’s email address to keep in touch and give you access to all of our recipes.
Look for fishmongers that don’t rely on refrigeration. Better yet, fishmongers in fixed locations but not open every day. It guarantees that everything will be either great, or gone, but never mediocre.
Shop we like do: look to see what catches your eye versus coming to the market with a set recipe in mind. The first gets you the good stuff, the second leads to sad compromise.
Pink wine is the fastest growing sector, everywhere in the world but don’t mistake that with being trendy, at least not here in Puglia.
Inside of Italy, the Salento has always been justifiably respected for our pinks, which drink much more like gusty whites rather than wimpy reds.
How to book: You can book with an email (and pay the day of the course). And all of this will be spelled out in the email. Or you can pay in advance through our online booking system.
Who thrives: Those who have always felt intimidated by buying and cooking fish.
Those who would like to learn how to make fresh pasta. Those interested in the ‘why’, of Italian food, rather than just the ‘how’.
Who doesn’t: Those that don’t like to eat or touch fish. Those who don’t like pink wine.
This is a fish-based meal. If you’d like an alternative menu come to our evening class (which has no fish).
If you’d like to eat more fish but feel intimidated by buying and preparing it, this is the class for you.