Apulian traditions: meat in the stove

by | Aug 31, 2020 | Apulian Food

Apulian Food

The tradition of the ready-made stove, u funded, is one of the most important gastronomic stops in Puglia, between the eastern province of Bari and the Itria Valley. They are butchers with an internal oven which in the evening become real brasseries. The oldest still retain the traditional stone ovens, powered by olive wood, where the skewers are placed upright for cooking with the fire on the side; the most modern, which however carry on the tradition, have more contemporary embers, always maintaining the character of indirect fire. The method of cooking with the lateral fire and the vertical skewer allows the meat to cook without letting fat and liquid drip on the coals, thus avoiding interference in cooking and aromatic sensations.


How does the stove work? Tradition has it that around 18.00 butchers turn on the oven (every evening or only 3 evenings a week, according to the country’s habit) to start cooking the meat. Some are booked in advance, perhaps to take home, but in general, the standard formula is to choose at the counter what to burn and sit in an adjacent room where you can eat, accompanied with a bottle of wine and a basket of homemade bread. At one time the service was only Spartan, all’impiedi (standing), the meat was served in paper cones and served to feed the workers, especially farmers, who returned home after a hard day. It was also often the favorite street food during local festivals.


To eat in the kitchen you can range in any type of meat, but there are traditional specialties not to be missed.

Gnumredd: they are the undisputed kings of the ready stove. Small rolls of lamb offal (mixed with lung and sweetbreads, or liver only) tied with the animal’s gut and seasoned with a little parsley.

Zampina: minced and seasoned meat sausage, in the most classic version with pecorino cheese, tomato, basil, salt, and pepper, stuffed in goat or lamb casing. It rolls upon itself, to form a wheel, and stopped with two long sticks.

Marro: it is a large roll of lamb entrails seasoned with cheese, parsley, and garlic, stuffed in a casing, a typical example of poor peasant food, which recovered all the offal.

Bombette: although they are part of the more recent tradition, bowls have become a must-eat in Puglia. They are pork capocollo dumplings stuffed with cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. There are several variations, such as those wrapped outside in a slice of stretched bacon or breaded ones.

Diaphragm: often also on horseback, the diaphragm is part of those scraps that entered right into the ready stove, because it is not considered valuable meat, but in truth, it is a delight. It is just overcooked and is seasoned only with a pinch of salt.

In addition to the freshly grilled meat, it is also possible to order tripe or other long preparations such as a donkey or horse chops with sauce, accompanied with baked potatoes, onions, salads, and local wine and of course push the meat with the spingitur: celery, fennel, carrots, and radishes.

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