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The culinary specialties of Molfetta owe their roots to the past. The typical culinary preparations of the cuisine of Molfetta hightlight the climate, colors and scents of the Mediterranean seaside towns that are characterized especially for the importance given to raw materials, whether from the land or sea, and for the fact that all ingredients are finalized and exalted to make sure the basic flavor of the products used remains unaltered. In this regards, we can recall the massive presence of handmade pastas, vegetables, legumes, fruits, fish, little meat and delicious extra virgin olive oil.
Orecchiette, cavatieddi and lagane pasta are the most obvious examples of the wide variety one can find on the tables of the people from Molfetta; especially during the special occasions especially of the liturgical calendar.
As far as the most technical aspects are concerned, the culinary specialties of Molfetta are based on the simplicity of its preparations, on the quality of its ingredients, on its genuine flavors and on its rustic inventions.
In particular, it does not enhance or renew dishes for big feasts, but in occasion of certain appointments of Molfetta, one would be more greedy, eat more and spend more time at the table. Therefore, it connected feasts to the table, which is why the meatball sauces would be packaged with horse meat pieces called “brascioele” is prepared.
It’s a very large slice of meat stuffed with the pecorino cheese called “Canestrato Pugliese”, lard, parsley, garlic flavor and pepper. It’s then wrapped around itself in the shape of a T-bone and tied with cotton before simmering with a good homemade tomato sauce.
Other typical ingredients of the culinary traditions of Molfetta include vegetables: from the excellent turnips to chicory, wild herbs, native wild onions, thistles, and carboncelli (black) mushrooms. In addition to these ingredients, we can find legumes such as the famous “favette” or shelled broad beans.
These broad beans are also very tasty when cooked in the traditional “pegnéte” (a terra cotta pot) that was placed next to the fire and left to boil for at least three to four hours. Such preparation was the main dish of Molfetta, especially on holidays.
Molfetta is famous for its excellent seafood cuisine. The typical polyps, which are beaten against the rocks and thrown in a basket to “curl” them as soon as they are caught, along with the anchovies and magnificent raw seafood or even the famous fish soup are typical dishes that recall the sea Another wonder of our culinary specialties is the famous “cembotte”, a fish soup created by fishermen.
The latter, indeed, add freshly caught fish to a few flavored elements such as tomatoes, garlic and parsley. All is added to water and put to boil for a few minutes. The broth achieved is thus used as a pasta sauce.
For the famous “past cu pesce” (pasta with fish), that is still currently in high demand regardless of the change in taste which is often served on modern tables. However, the real protagonist of Apulian cuisine is the extra virgin olive oil. Apulia and its more than 50 million olive trees is the leading Italian olive oil and oil manufacturer.
It is an irreplaceable seasoning that adds a touch of exquisiteness to any type of culinary preparation, even to the most simple one.
An aspect, which must not be underestimated is the art of baking sweets, which is a strong point of the culinary specialties of Molfetta.
The sweet specialties mark the yearly holiday cycle. Amongst the various sweets, there are the: “carteddate”, puff pastries flavored with a cooked filling and figs; an infinite variety of almond-based sweets, amongst which the “calzoncelli” and “mostaccioli”, which are made from the famous Toritto almonds, which are toasted, finely chopped, mixed to sugar, cinnamon, eggs and dried fruit; the “Zeppole” of Saint Joseph, the fried donuts flavored with cream and candied black cherries; the “Scarcella”, a sweet made with a dough composed of flour, sugar, eggs and oil.It is shaped like a dove, basket, heart etc. in which crosses of dough and eggs with all the shell that would be given as a gift that is offered as a token of good luck to children and lovers. Finally, the culinary specialties of Molfetta remained very attached to their simple roots, based on a few basic ingredients although careful to the continuous innovations of the new culinary techniques and international trends. You just have to dive into one of the restaurants of our city.

a cura di Giacomo Giancaspro
gastronomic itinerary

Gaetano Armenio -

Gaetano Armenio -

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