Savour the Flavour of Puglia: The Best Cooking Classes and Wine Tastings

When I ask my clients about their holiday in Puglia, their tone always becomes most wistful when they recall their meals. “The worst part is that I’ll never be able to recreate the mouth-watering pasta sauce in my own kitchen,” a client recently lamented. If you dined in restaurants, that may very well be true. However, it’d probably be a different story if you had rolled up your sleeves and received some hands-on cooking classes.

Our team has two recommendations for Puglian gastronomy lessons for you, and also has tips for how to best experience the region’s wines. With our help, the gastronomic joy of your holiday may last a lifetime!

Eating at the Charming Trulli

Located in the tiny town of Alberobello, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll find the Charming Trulli, a quirky hotel whose rooms are located in little conical houses. These buildings are typical of the Apulia region and – as promised by the hotel’s name — are indeed charming.

In addition to its extraordinary rooms, the Charming Trulli is famous for its Trattoria Terra Madre, which advertises seasonal and organic fruits and vegetables that are harvested from the hotel’s own garden. The restaurant prides itself on its local produce and homemade feel, and not without reason: I can happily confirm that everything that I ate during my visit was simply bursting with flavour.

Cooking at the Charming Trulli

After tasting the Trattoria’s traditional Puglian specialties, such as its eggplant parmigiana and its veal fillet, I’m sure that you’ll want to relive your dining experience. Luckily, the Charming Trulli encourages you to sign up for cooking classes, which are led by local culinary experts.

There is a large variety of classes to choose from, but I think that you’ll most enjoy the ‘Puglian Cuisine Class.’ In this workshop, you’ll work with fresh produce and learn the ins and outs of Puglian cooking at a restaurant, farmhouse, or private house, depending on group numbers and venue availabilities. After preparing several dishes, you’ll reap the fruits of your labour by enjoying a full, homemade meal. Don’t forget to take the recipes and your cooking apron home with you at the end of the workshop!

Tip: If you have a sweet tooth, the hotel also offers a class in which you’ll learn to bake local pastries and make authentic gelato.

Drinking at the Charming Trulli

As we know from Plato, “Nothing more excellent or valuable than wine was ever granted by the gods to man.” Although Italian food is a close second, I often find that it tastes best when it’s paired with the right wine. This holds especially true for Puglia, which is the largest wine-producing region in Italy.

To benefit most from your cooking class at the Charming Trulli, I recommend that you also take advantage of the hotel’s wine tastings, during which you’ll explore a local winery, try a selection of wines, and then practise pairing your drink with your food during a lunch at a restaurant. After your experience at the Charming Trulli, you’ll never look back to your meals with packaged pasta and boxed wine – Instead, you’ll know exactly how to wine and dine in style.

Eating at the Canne Bianche

If you’re planning a holiday in the coastal town of Torre Canne, be sure to check out the Canne Bianche, whose modern rooms, spa facilities, and – most importantly – culinary options are nothing short of amazing. Just like the Charming Trulli, this hotel has its own restaurant, — called T_imo — which serves an array of traditional Puglian food.

If you stay in the hotel, you may experience a ‘Typical Puglian Night,’ which is a gastronomic sensation that T_imo regularly organises for its guests. After eating your way through the overflowing buffet, which features various kinds of fish and meat, be sure to stop by the ‘Casaro Corner,’ in which cooks introduce guests to the preparation of Puglian ‘burrata cheese’ and ‘panzerotti,’ a fried, pizza-like creation. If these heavenly culinary teasers don’t convince you to take a Puglian cooking class, nothing will!

Cooking at the Canne Bianche

If you – like most guests – can’t get enough of Canne Bianche’s gastronomic paradise, it’s worth every penny to sign up for the hotel’s cooking class. With the guidance of a top-notch chef, you can learn how to make ragu, orecchiette pasta (from scratch, of course!), fish, almond paste…and the list goes on. During lessons that revolve around seafood, you’ll practise identifying different types of fish, and will learn to how clean, dress, and prepare them on your own. With Canne Bianche’s fresh produce and excellent instruction, you’ll never think of buying pre-made meals again.

Drinking at the Canne Bianche

After a day of cooking, why not relax with a nice glass of wine? Whether you’re looking for a pre- or post-meal drink, Canne Bianche’s Gamero Rozzo and Cumino bars are lovely spots to unwind and enjoy a Puglian wine, such as a full-bodied Salice Salentino or a refreshingly light Sauvignon. Be sure to ask the friendly and knowledgeable staff to tell you more about the region’s wines, and recommend some food pairings to you. There’s always more to learn!

This is just a small selection of our favourite places to learn about food and drink in Puglia. Since there’s truly myriad marvellous places in which to expand your palate, we at Prestige Holidays are here to help you make your choice. Give us a call today.