In traditional Apulian cuisine, fresh ingredients, play an important role. Collected both from the sea and from the land. They have to intensify the taste of produce and not change it. Consequently only fresh seasonal vegetables, fruit and sea-food are used. Turnip tops, Cabbage, Cardamon, Peppers, Aubergines, Artichokes, Beans, Lentils, Fava beans, Chick Peas, and all kinds of sea food, especially from Adriatic Sea. This particular kind of Sea Food is less salty because of the fresh water inlets that run along the coast.
Even though some dishes are pretty similar, most recipes differ from Province to Province and sometimes from Town to Town. Traditional Apulian cooking consists of many recipes, which also vary according to the season, and so in Spring and Summer Vegetables and Sea Food prevail, whilst during the Winter Seasons handmade pasta with various sauces, including Vegetables and Sea Food are more common.
The most traditional dishes of this area include “Orecchiette al Ragù di Carne di Cavallo” (a local, small, ear shaped handemade pasta, served with meat sauce), “Orecchiette con le cime di rapa” (the same kind of pasta with turnip tops), “Cicoria con la purea di Fave” (Chicory with Pureed Fava Beans). And from the waters of the Mediterranean Sea there is “Cavatelli con le cozze” (a long, rolled pasta served with mussels) or the “barese” baked rice dish called “patate, riso e cozze” (Potatoes, Rice and Mussels). You can find most of them in every recipe book. Most of these dishes are very traditional and important to the culture of food in the area.