Last but not least… My last episode about the Itria Valley local producer discovery. It took me a long time to publish it but I though that you were all in winter holidays and therefore more in the mood for Finland in the middle of winter than South Italy in the middle of July 🙂 .
This last episode is dedicated to the discovery of the last producer: a butcher and to the tasting of the orecchiette dish at the A’Cr’Janz restaurant in Putignano. If you haven’t read episode 1 & 2 and dream about knowing how to prepare mozzarella or olive oil, you can find them here and there!
First stop, Martina Franca, a small village where is produced the capocollo: a kind of smoked salami. In the butchery Il Marcellaio, they prepare their own capocollo following the local traditional process. What best than a demonstration to learn a process? 🙂 So we did:
First they choose the best meat piece to prepare it : the neck of the pork. They can prepare 2 capocollo with one pork using both side of the neck. The neck is placed with salt and let to rest several hours then it is cleaned and marinated with vincotto (Vincotto is a cooked wine). After that they put the meat in a cloth and they tie it up with rope.
They let the cloth dry up, unwrap the meat and then store it in a cellar apparently similar to the ones in the winery of the region. They are then smoked with a very light fire and then they dry up for a period of time. The result gives a tender meat, no too dry with a light smoke taste that melted you down! It is delicious!
Of course a demonstration cannot end without a tasting and we had the surprise to eat fresh capocollo as well as delicious traditional “bombete”. They are meat balls of capocollo and cheese grilled in wood fire. Butchers in this area have their own wood fire oven in their shop and clients can choose to grilled on site what they want: sausages, skewers, bombete…
I would totally imagine me run to the butcher to get a bite any time if I could have a snack instantly! A quick delicious barbecue that would be awesome!
After this X amount of snacks during the day (we have been eating for several hours already!), we headed to Chef D’Onghia’s restaurant for our last snack (before diner obviously): a plate of orecchiette with turnip tops and fried breadcrumbs. It seems a very simple dish and yet delicious. Certainly the best of my trip!
A’Cr’Janz restaurant is beautiful. It looks like the restaurant of my dream. The one I would love to own myself. A small kitchen but functional and with beautiful material (love the red meat cutting machine!!) and the rustic/chic dining room. The restaurant is part of the Slow food association which means that all ingredients are locally sourced (of the best quality as well). If I have one regret, it’s that I did not enjoy one entire meal at the restaurant! Next time I have to do it!
First and fourth pictures: copyright Dionisio Altamura
Other pictures: copyright Sophie Maulevrier