La Piscialetta

La Piscialetta for sale at a bakery in Puglia, Italy (Photo: Brent Petersen)

There are two things about Italian food that I like the best.  First, they waste NOTHING.  Second, each town has its own specialty.

This story about La Piscialetta combines both of those things. La Piscialetta is a small piece of bread, maybe the size of your fist.  It is made from the leftover dough scraps of the bread making process.  The remnants left on the table and on the tools are gathered and kneaded  Olives, capers, sun dried tomatoes, whatever you have lying around are added and the bread is baked.

As you can tell from the process, this is a staple that is used by poor families to stretch their food budget.  This is especially true in Puglia, which, until recently, was one of the poorest regions of Italy.

Each town in Salento (a region in Puglia) has its own preferred method and ingredients for making La Piscialetta, though, as you can see, the recipe isn’t exactly set in stone.

With better economic conditions in Puglia (from the wine and olive oil trade), the tradition of La Piscialetta was lost.  But, recently, it have been revived.  Even high end bakeries have La Piscialetta for sale in Puglia and a Sagra della Piscialetta (Piscialetta Festival) is held in several towns every summer.  It looks like a good time, too!

About the Author

Brent Petersen is the Editor-in-Chief of Destination Eat Drink. He currently resides in Setubal, Portugal. Brent has written the novel “Truffle Hunt” (Eckhartz Press) and the short story collection “That Bird.” He’s also written dozens of foodie travel guides to cities around the world on Destination Eat Drink, including in-depth eating and drinking guides to Lisbon, PortoSintraMonsaraz, and Evora in Portugal. Brent’s podcast, also called Destination Eat Drink, is available on all podcast platforms.
Author: Brent