Over the years we have had many requests from our guests for various food related activities and for the past 5 years we have been able to offer both pasta and pizza making evenings at our trullo. We have recently been looking at providing an entire week of activities that are based on learning and understanding Italian food and its ingredients as well as how to cook all your favourite dishes.
For this week we provide a local chef who will accompany you as required to help choose the ingredients, explain the different products and help you get the most out of your time here. If you have any particular dishes that you have always wanted to learn then now is your chance. The week is built around the things you would like to do from the list of activities here but if there is anything else that you would like to try we will always do our best to arrange this for you. Should you group wish to split up then we will try to arrange an extra chef to accompany you if required.
The trullo has its own kitchen garden where any seasonal fruit and vegetables can be picked to give the freshest possible ingredients for you dishes.
Please contact us for further information and prices.
Italy is equally famous for Pizzas as it is for its Pasta and every town has any number of pizzerias to choose from. There is a technique to making the base, actually getting the pizza into the wood fired oven and then cooking it until it is cooked evenly throughout. You will be amazed how the most basic plain base with oil and salt will taste fantastic when cooked in a wood fired oven. Practice makes perfect so an evening spent with one of our pizzaiolo will ensure that you are an expert by the time your holiday is finished.
Pasta is without doubt the most important part of the Italian diet with most families eating it as part of a meal every day. There are around 350 different types of pasta worldwide and probably around 4 times as many different names for them. The different types are used for different recipes and different purposes depending on the dish. Some shapes are meant to be better at holding different types of sauce. For example, a flat pasta is said to be better of cream based dishes while a round pasta is better for a tomato based dish.
Another of large part of Puglia’s economy is Durham wheat which is grown in abundance here and used all over the country for producing not only pasta but also the large variety of different breads produced here. Puglia’s traditional pasta is Orecchiette which literally means “little ears” and the two most popular dishes are with cime di rape, a type of broccoli or an even simpler dish with just tomato sauce with or without small meatballs.
Many households still make their own fresh Orecchiette but it is a technique that takes a little bit of practice if you have more than one or two people who want to eat! Our pasta making evening takes you through the process of making the dough and learning the technique to making Orecchiette and then producing two or three of the most popular dishes.
CHEESE TASTING TOUR AT LOCAL CASAFiCIO
One of the staple ingredients in many Italian meals is cheese. Many households make their own while others purchase them from the Masseria’s or the small Casaficio that can be found everywhere. Everyone has their own particular favourite with housewives refusing to go anywhere else for their daily supply of mozzarella or ricotta. A visit to a Casaficio gives you the chance to see first-hand how the most popular cheeses are made.
The weekly market is still very much a central part of the local community with many people coming in from their homes in the countryside to meet up with friends as well as get all the shopping. Although there are supermarkets in all towns the markets are still the most popular place to buy the freshest of food and ingredients. Almost everything is grown or produced locally with availability been driven by the seasons and only a few fruit and vegetables such as bananas being imported.
In our area we have markets on Monday (Cisternino), Tuesday (Noci), Wednesday (Martina Franca), Thursday (Alberobello) and Friday (Locorotondo).
Many people still search for food in the countryside and throughout the year it is not uncommon to see cars parked at the side of the road, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. A few of the most popular things that people forage for are lampacione, wild asparagus, wild chicory and the extremely popular woodland fungi and mushrooms. Depending on what time of year you visit here it is possible to go out and see what can be found in the local countryside. If you stay at Trullo Negli Alberi in the autumn or early spring months you will only have to walk outside the front door in order to pick a whole range of fungi from under the oak trees on the land.
wine tasting tour of local vineyards
Puglia originally had a reputation for producing large quantities of unremarkable wine but over recent years producers have turned to producing lower volumes and concentrating on quality. So much so that the region is now home to 4 DOCGs and 29 DOCs, more than any other region in the south. The most popular grape varieties are the red Primitivo, Nero di Troia and Negroamaro with the whites Verdeco, Fiano Minutolo and Bianco d’Alessano. Many towns produce a range of qualities that enable to go from the cheap and cheerful to a quality wine still at very reasonable prices. There are several local vineyards worth visiting, all of whom are happy to spend time explaining their different wines and giving you the opportunity to taste them.
Olive oil tour to local Frantoio
Puglia is covered in Olive groves and both the olives and the oil they produce are one of the main economies of the area. There are around 49 different varieties of olives each with its own slightly different taste and character. In Italy the main varieties are Bosana, Cerignola, Coratina, Noccellara del belice and the two main oil producing varieties of Leccino and Frantoio. Being the country’s largest producer of oil means that there needs to be a large amount of frantoia to process all the fruit when it comes to harvest time. These range from small traditional presses to large, modern, highly technical presses which produce possibly the best quality olive oil in the world. A visit to the frantoia gives you the chance to learn about the different varieties of olives and how the different oils are produced and classified. A visit during the harvesting period of November and December also gives you the opportunity to try your hand at harvesting and see your olive oil going through the production process.
Tour to Local masseria
The Masseria are the traditional old farmhouses that cover the area. Many of them still function as small working farms where they produce their own cheeses, meats, oils etc for their own use as well as for sale to the public. A visit to a masseria lets you have a go at making your own mozzarella, ricotta and prima sale as well as a tour of the property and tasting of their home grown and home made products.
Not only do Italians love pasta and pizza but they also have an extensive range of dishes that are loved all over the world. Many regions produce slightly different variations to well-known recipes as well as producing dishes that are only found in their respective areas. Our chefs are happy to spend the afternoon teaching their favourites or if there is a particular dish that you are interested in then please let us know and we will make sure that is on their list.
Trullo Negli Alberi