If learning how to cook and travel were both somewhere on your list of New Year’s resolutions, why not combine them with a food trip to Italy?
I caught up with Sergio Scardia of Italy Gay Travels to take a look at why he thinks Puglia is the best place in Italy to learn how to cook traditional Italian food.
How difficult is it to learn how to cook Italian cuisine?
To learn the basics of Italian cuisine is fairly easy. We focus on Puglia – the regional cuisine is based on traditional recipes, with fresh products. Recipes that are tasty but still fairly easy to make.
Why have you decided to focus this food experience on the region of Puglia?
I am from Puglia, I am in love with this region! The food of the region is an explosion of taste – It’s based on the Mediterranean diet, but the recipes are based on passed-down traditional methods. The Puglia food is a delicious secret that I’m willing to share with our beloved clients.
What are some of the dishes or ingredients that Puglia is known for?
Fresh Orecchiette is the main pasta shape of the region – the little ears which are best eaten with turnips. It’s called cime di rapa in Italian. Another great dish is fave e verdura – that’s fava beans pureed with boiled green chicory.
If I was interested in this style of food experience, do I have to be a good cook or is this something that’s suitable for total beginners?
No experience is needed. We will learn the basics of the Puglia cuisine, starting from scratch – we’ll even make our own fresh pasta! It’s an experience that we’ve designed around beginners – everybody is welcome to join our local experiences.
How many guys will be on the trip?
Each group is formed by 4-10 people, with a good mixture between couples and single guys. Everybody feels comfortable in our groups. For singles looking to meet their other half, we’ve also organised a singles’ week in October.
What do you hope that people feel when they’re taking part in this food experience of Puglia?
I hope that everybody learns the tricks of our cucina povera – the cuisine of the region. I’m also sure everybody will fall in love with the astonishing landscapes and sights of this amazing region.