Located on the southeastern coast of Italy along the Adriatic Sea, the region of Puglia (or "Apulia" in English) makes up the "heel and spur" associated with lower Italy's distinctive boot shape. Now a hearty farming region producing most of the olive oil consumed in Italy, Puglia's food reflects a rustic ingenuity born of a frequently poverty-stricken history. The area may have grown past it's total reliance on the land to provide what it needs to survive, but the flavors of it's humble beginnings continue to invoke a comforting nostalgia, tastes rooting themselves deep in the cultural soils they mirror.
Humble Beginnings Make for Great Tastes
Pugliese pastas and breads are crafted from locally grown durum wheat. Sauces embrace eggplant and fava beans, as well as wild game and fowl. Mussels and octopus from the Adriatic are prepared to a state of elegance only simplicity can produce. Wheat, grapes, olives, figs, turnips, almonds…all are ingredients grown in the region and, in the hands of Puglia's cooks, are transformed into dishes that warm the souls of food enthusiasts the world over.
One of the most important crops in the Puglia region is durum wheat which, when ground, produces semolina, the base for DeLallo's perfect pastas. The flat terrain and dry climate of the region makes it the ideal location for growing durum wheat, higher in protein and gluten than other wheat and thereby better for making pasta. Swept gently by sea breezes from the Adriatic, crops grown in the fertile soil of the Pugliese plains secure a depth of flavor found in few other places in the world.
Richer in vitamins, minerals and fiber than most pastas, DeLallo's pastas are therefore consistently healthier for heart function and metabolism, easier to digest, and can help form the basis of a healthy Mediterranean-style diet. Created and cut by their pastificio in Foggia (an area often referred to as the "Tavoliere delle Puglie", or Apulian Table) in the Puglia region, DeLallo's pastas take full advantage of the area's long history of food craftsmanship, a fact of flavor made plain with each bite.
Orecchiette, or "little ears" (so named because of the appearance), is one of the most famous pastas produced in Puglia. A favorite DeLallo cut, it is slightly thinner at the middle and thicker at the outer rims, allowing for pleasant textural variations. The shape lends itself well to the bright and hearty sauces beloved in the region, and is a delightful showcase for fresh vegetables, seafood and simplistic preparation. One popular local dish, orecchiette con le cime da rapa, combines the full-bodied whole-grain flavors of orecchiette with the aromatic bite of broccoli rabe, making it destined to become a quick go-to favorite from the very first mouthful.