Hello, dear readers! Today I have the pleasure to take you with me on a gastronomic journey in Bari Vecchia. This magical place, which I already introduced you to in my previous posts, and which still has many hidden charms I would like to tell you about!
One of them is the local cuisine that comes along with an important spice: the famous southern hospitality. I was introduced to it by my landlord Ninni, who himself is an embodiment of the welcoming nature and open-mindedness of the population here. Speaking English, Portuguese, German, French, Italian and — I highlight — Barese, he took us to the house of a local family with established traditions in preparing local food with a typical Mediterranean temperament. Nunzia welcomed us warmly even before we crossed the threshold of her cozy home. Her son, Rino, in a half-joking manner, reminded us that we won’t leave their house alive if we don’t eat everything that his excellent mother had prepared for us.
The tastes abounded, and everything we tried seemed to be even better than the other. Home-made parmigiana, panzerotti, orecchiette with cime di rappa, focaccia, olives, beef braciole, sgagliozze polenta fritta alla barese, and various appetizers are just prelude to the dish that stands out as the pride of the local culinary genius. Patate, riso e cozze, in translation: potatoes, rice and mussels, seasoned with many herbs, and prepared with a lot of desire, is that one special dish everyone needs to try if they visit Bari! Having been slightly sceptical about the combination and the idea of it, now I can proudly say that I tried it, I survived, I liked it, and indeed I recommend it to everyone that wants to taste something new and interesting. The pleasant dinner finished with a chocolate cake and as tradition has it in Bari — with a shot of limoncello.
The dinner was delicious but curiosity had not yet faded away. Upon leaving Nunzia’s place I was kindly invited to take a look at the kitchen as well as the busy process of preparing the dinner also for the other guests in their wonderful home. There the grandma was making fluffy dough for panzerotti, while her grand-daughters were frying them. The busy atmosphere was accompanied by jolly conversations in Barese, which bit by bit I am starting to understand. I tried amazing dishes, I saw the way they were being prepared, and now I could happily leave. Nunzia sent me to the door with her best wishes and the request to inform you that she makes the most delicious food in Bari and consequently in the whole world! So each and everyone one of you is always more than welcome!
Having related my last culinary adventure I can’t fail to mention why are this particular house and family so dear and special. They are some of the very few people that still make orecchiete, the local type of pasta I already talked about in a previous post. They also captured the attention of haute couture fashion brand Dolce and Gabbana, who chose to take some of the shoots for their Spring/Summer 2017 collection exactly on the street where Nunzia lives with the family itself! Incredible, vibrant and charming are some of the many words that could describe this spellbinding place that seems to be a universe of its own within the boundaries of Bari Vecchia!
I hope you enjoyed reading my post and I would be very happy if I managed to inspire you or give you another reason to come and become a part of the magical experience of being a medical student in Bari, BEMC! I wish good luck to all those that will sit the IMAT this year and congratulations to all those that already got accepted and started their journey on the long path of becoming a medical doctor. Now I leave you with selected photography of Bari — a wonderful place to study and live!