My Culinary Adventure in Puglia
A definite highlight of my recent week in Puglia was visiting Masseria Salamina, home to our Culinary Adventure in Puglia. Seeing it firsthand made me really appreciate how special Puglia’s masserie are. For the unfamiliar, masserie were historically working farms centered around a large manor house, a sort agricultural estate.
The same is true today, only many of Puglia’s masserie now also function as elegant agriturismos. Our guests at Masseria Salamina sleep in a manor house built in the 1600s that has been lovingly restored with a balance of historic charm and modern comfort surrounded by 11,000 olive trees. Their oldest olive tree is 1,500 years old! Cooking classes take place in either the masseria restaurant kitchen, or in the outdoor kitchen next to the pool. Students use the estate’s own organic agricultural products in their cooking classes, usually strolling through its extensive gardens and picking the day’s ingredients themselves before class.
Another thing that makes masserie distinct is that they are family-owned and operated. We want clients on our culinary vacations to learn from local people who are passionate about their cuisine and cultural traditions. The Masseria Salamina are owned by a brother and sister, Filippo and Chiara (pictured here with me and your guide for the week, Augusto). Their enthusiasm for Puglian food, wine, and olive oil is contagious. Whether in a cooking class with Chiara, inspecting the olive trees with Filippo, or exploring old town Bari’s ancient alleyways, one way or another, Puglia will leave you with a lasting impression of its warmth, charm, and hospitality.
By Adrian Hall
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