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On October 17th, I attended the 27th edition of Appuntmento con la Daunia, hosted by my amico Peppe Zullo. Every year I receive an invitation, but this was the first time I was actually in Italia in October.   La Daunia is the modern day Provincia di Foggia, named after the people who lived there under King Daunus.

Held at Villa Jamele in Orsara di Puglia, the event featured local food and wine, focusing on the biodiversity of the area.  It was attended by journalists, food writers, and those involved in the local enogastronomic industry. There were various site tours, then a round table discussion with 6 speakers from the enogastronomic industry and the Director of tourism for the Regione Puglia.  There was discussion and sharing of information and research for growth, development and sustainability concerning local food and culture.

New research was presented from the University of Foggia further confirming that the soil in the Monti Dauni area is rich in the antioxidant Selenium.  This is likely why there are a higher than usual number of centenarians in the area. Nature, nutrients and culture…ingredients of the Daunia.

The event concluded with a meal made entirely with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Dalla terra alla tavola-from the earth to the table-you won’t get any fresher than this!

‘Ostriche di montagna’ which means ‘mountain oysters’.  They are actually fried borragine/borage leaves, served with lampascione con pecorino (fried wild onion on pecorino) and crostino di salsiccia e fico (sausage and fig crostino)Parmigiana di borragine, similar to parmigiana di melanzane, but layered with borage leaves instead of eggplant.

Pancotto e patate con verdure e pomodorini (cooked bread and potatoes with wild greens and tomatoes). Pancotto e patate is Cucina Povera at its best-my favourite comfort food.

Troccoli con zucca, cicerchi e cime di rapa (Handmade Troccoli with squash, local chick peas and rapini)

Maiale con zucchine e uva fragole e patate fritte (Pork with zucchine and sweet grapes topped with fried potatoesSemifreddo di zucca, torta con crema e biscottini di grano arso (pumpkin semifreddo with pomegranate seeds, cream cake and tiny biscotti made with grano arso, a burnt wheat flour

To drink, we had Peppe’s Amarosa vino rosato / Amorosa rosé.  It is made from the Nero di Troia grape, which according to legend was brought by Diomedes who settled in the Daunia area after the Trojan War. Read more in Vini di Puglia.

Peppe Zullo was recently voted one of the 10 best local restaurants in Italia and the best in Puglia by the online gastronomic guide TasteAtlas!  Here is a link to an article in Italian in Rec24 and in Corriere.it. Tantissimi auguri Peppe!!!!

Ciao, Cristina