Bari Food & Wine
Many countries border Italy and their influences on Italian cuisine are felt depending on where you are in the country. Northern Italy offers rich buttery sauces much as in French cuisine and in southern Italy there is more of a Mediterranean influence of tangy tomato sauces, olive oil and seafood. So is the case in Bari, which is known to offer some of the most traditional of Southern Italian cooking.
The Mediterranean coast offers an abundance of fresh octopus, sea urchins and mussels, mostly eaten raw. But if you like your fish cooked, you can also enjoy everything from cod and sole to prawns, lobster and clams. Cook the fish of your choice with some “orecchiette” (hat shaped pasta) in a variety of sizes or mixed with local vegetables in a “cavatelli” or seasoned sauce.
The area around Bari is famous for olive oil, garlic and fresh vegetables, such as eggplant, broad beans, chick peas, celery, fennel and chicory. All mixed together, they blend to make minestrone, one of the most famous Italian soups.
Another traditional dish is “pasta al forno”, which is baked pasta. Originally made at the start of Lent with eggs and pork or only as a Sunday dish, this is a dish you can enjoy any time, as it is very popular and regularly available anywhere.
And if you enjoy a good “calzoni” or “focaccia”, you’ll look forward to tasting them in the region where they originated.
But perhaps the most famous of dishes originating in Bari is “Riso, patate e cozze”, which is an oven baked blend of rice, potatoes and mussels. If you are a meat-eater, you’ll enjoy “Ragu alla Barese”, which is a delicious blend of lamb, pork and, horsemeat.
And let’s not forget the wine. In Bari and its provinces, the local red wine is world famous and dominates over white wine, although a very nice Verdeca, which is a rare grape and pretty much exclusive to the area.
Reds are typically full bodied, such as Primitivo, which is a intensely flavored and deeply colored. If you enjoy sweet reds, you will like the Moscato grapes, which thrives in the area. The Moscato di Trani is a “DOC” wine, which signifies that it originated in the area and guarantees excellent quality.