Christmas in Puglia: the typical dishes of the Region

The joy of getting together at the table, the wonder of getting lost in childhood memories despite the passing of time, the indispensable warmth of the holidays spent with our loved ones: when it arrives Natale there is nothing better than going home. Every year we wonder what’s cooking, if some new recipe will have the upper hand on the dishes of tradition or if grandma will surprise us with some last minute secret ingredients. Whatever the answer, it will be difficult to give up even just one dish of our land! From cod to Cartellate, let’s discover together the typical dishes that are prepared in Puglia Christmas Day.

Typical Christmas dishes in Puglia: appetizers

Shellfish, raw molluscs, mussels, clams, oysters and sea urchins in abundance: theApulian appetizer it is plentiful and full of local specialties. But the real protagonist is the capitone which, prepared roasted or stewed, is second only to fried cod – or prepared in the oven with potatoes – cooked with the inevitable extra virgin olive oil of the area. Green light also for fried squid and cuttlefish, mussels with lemon or au gratin according to the customs of one’s family. Among the typical Christmas dishes in Puglia, the pettole (the typical balls of very soft leavened dough fried in boiling oil), panzerotti and focaccia from Bari.

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On Christmas Day in Puglia there is only one great certainty: the fresh pasta. Whether they are fettuccine or tagliolini in broth, lasagna or baked pasta, orecchiette with turnip tops or cavatelli with seafood, the important thing is don’t give up on a traditional dish. Over the years it has become increasingly common not to respect “the rules of tradition” and, in the end, everyone chooses to prepare their own dish on the day they prefer. The important thing is that the Christmas lunch is accompanied by the excellent ones white and red wines of Puglia.


Anyone who has ever heard the vicissitudes of the ladies of old Bari or boasts an Apulian grandmother will certainly have heard of thebaked lamb con lambascion o turcinieddhi. That is, spiced lamb accompanied by vegetables cooked for many hours in a terracotta pot. To accompany the main course there is no shortage of local vegetables such as turnip tops stew and brown the aubergines and artichokes in oil in a pan. But let’s not forget the famous Apulian cheeses, how can we give them up on Christmas day?

Sweet at the bottom…

That’s right, waiting increases desire. After delighting your palate with some of the best dishes of Italian cuisine, they arrive: le carteddhate. Without a doubt, they are the typical Christmas dessert par excellence and a riot of sweetness that is impossible to give up. The carteddhate, known by the name of cartellate, consist of fried dough rolled out into long strips and worked into the shape of a rose and then dipped in honey or vincotto. At the table there is no shortage of sweet breastsi purcedhuzzi Salento and the “Christmas Fish”, a fish-shaped almond paste dessert typical of the province of Lecce. Obviously there is no shortage of dates, dried fruit, panettone, pandoro, mostaccioli and almond-based sweets at will.

And you, will you prepare the typical dishes of Puglia this Christmas?

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