In Alberobello, self-sufficiency extends to everything from olive oil and cherry tomatoes to limoncello and cherry liqueur – from filling the fridge to supplying the liquor cabinet, everything is homegrown and homemade in Puglia.
In Alberobello, there are only a couple of supermarkets and one market, and there’s no need for more because here it appears everyone grows what they need for themselves.
When the caretaker of our trullo, Maria, visited us the first day she gave us a bottle of her own olive oil, the next day when she came to teach Terence how to make pasta she hung a colossal bunch of pomodorini up in our kitchen (her own homegrown tomatoes), and on her next visit (the pizza-making day) she left us a giant jar of marinated olives and her own dried oregano.
Limoncello, Cherry Liqueur and other Earthly Delights in Puglia in Southern Italy
On our drive to Maria’s trullo another day for yet another cooking lesson, she pointed out her own olive groves, her cherry trees, her grape vines, and her vegetable garden, and during lunch she served up her own wine.
When Maria and Anna, our guide to the trulli of Alberobello, took us to Anna’s family’s restaurant, Ristorante Paradiso di Puglia, her parents Maria and Michele served us a plate of fresh vegetables to try, including the best radishes and cucumbers we’ve ever tasted, that they had grown in their own garden.
They served us their own wine, a delicious fig cake and other delights made from their own dried fruit, and they even served us their own liqueurs, with scrumptious biscuits of their own making of course.
Maria makes a potent, fragrant limoncello while Michele’s specialty is a cherry liqueur. These generous people shared their recipes with us, so we thought we’d do the right thing and share them with you too.
Ristorante Paradiso di Puglia di Rosato
Via Alberobello 13, on the way to Martina Franca
080 440 0576
Limoncello Recipe and Cherry Liqueur Recipe
- Skin of 6 green lemons
- 700 grams sugar
- 1 litre of alcohol
- 1 litre of water
- Soak the finely shaved skins of the lemons in one litre of pure alcohol in a container for 48 hours.
- Boil the water and sugar for 10 minutes then cool.
- Mix the water and sugar with the alcohol and strain to remove the skins.
- Bottle it. Should make four bottles. Chill it. Serve it. With biscuits!
- 2 litres of red wine
- 800 grams sugar
- 1 litre pure alcohol
- 2 kilos of sour black cherries
- Combine all the ingredients in a container and store in the fridge for 8 days.
- Strain the liquid to remove the cherries.
- Bottle it. Chill it. Serve it icy. Also delish with biscuits!