Share meals and laughter with your fellow travelers, share in the exchange of knowledge, ideas and traditions with locals.
Go to the roots of the gastronomical knowledge passed on by generations of shepherds, farmers, cheesemakers, bakers, fishermen and the guardians and storytellers of the hearths. This a dynamic and interactive workshop which involves you with locals to understand the land, the limestone belly of south, which produces a cuisine that is a compendium of flavours of earth and sun.
Explore the southern Italian food culture shaped by millennia of migrations on the paths of transhumance and the trading route of the ancient Via Appia, from the farmlands to the Mediterranean coasts.
Cheese making – Taste the giuncata (the first cheese of the morning) and make pecorino,ricotta, mozzarella, scamorza and burrata. Find out about natural rennets, and how to form and age cheese. Cook and prepare today’s lunch. Trek the pastures alongside the shepherd at his meditative pace, while learning of his plight to preserve his way of life, and lunch in the fields with his family.
At the foot of the Calanchi in the centenarian groves, distinguish a good olive oil, it’s properties, olive cultivars, and harvest through tastings and talks. Make the renowned Altamura bread, learn about the mother dough and the crunchy crust, and tour the fortified town.
Hit the streets with pots, burners, and baskets of pomodori, melanzane and rucola to prepare dinner for the locals. The butcher will be with us to give guidance on meat cuts and make salsiccia together- Dinner alfresco. Each participant invites a guest from the street.
Follow the Appian Way through the durum wheat fields and learn about grain varieties, traditional pasta, and as the sun sets eat dinner by candlelight in the company of frescoes in a rupestrian church. Walk through the mazes of Matera, a Unesco World Heritage site, discover its cave culture history, art exhibitions, and dinner on the piazza: cruschi peppers, cheeses, cured meats, pizzas, artichokes and wines. We’ll travel through the white-washed towns, red oxide terra and drystone walls of the Itria Valley to reach and inhale the blue Adriatic coast. Take the time for a swim and sunbathe. Grill octopus on the terrace overlooking the cove, while the fisherman makes a dish from an old family recipe – he is very excited about cooking and sharing his home with us.
Live in the land of the masserie, the fortified farmhouses and cave settlements that represent in Puglia the sum of labor, bounty and beauty.
The workshop is led by Puglian native Tonio Creanza, the Founder and Director of Messors, along with his colleagues of local farmers, cheese makers, shepherds, historians, restauranteurs, etc.
Tonio grew up on his family farm tending to durum wheat, vineyards and olive tree cultivation in the historical and archeological rich setting of Puglia. As a cultural heritage conservator and 6th generation olive oil producer, his knowledge and passion for food and history is echoed in the workshops he has been running for the past 25 years. The hands-on and in-situ approach of the workshops creates an enriching living school model and culturally connecting experiences for travelers and locals.
While tracking the darting flock as it chows down on the erba medica and centofoglie plants dotted among the ochre-hued moonscape of tufo limestone, our cameras soon fall to our waists as we adopt the shepherd’s Zen-like mindset. We join him foraging for wild rocket, while engulfed with the aroma of fennel and thyme.
June 1-8, 2017
- Includes arrival and departure dates
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8-day workshop fee:
€2,360 EUR (approximately $2,550 USD)
- Includes your stay (shared occupancy), transportation to and from the Bari airport or train station on arrival and departure days, meals and wine, entrance fees to museums and sites.
- Does not include: airfare, personal health and travel insurance. personal expenses.
What to expect
8 days include:
- Visit Sassi di Matera and writer/artist Carlo Levi exhibition at Museum of Palazzo Lanfranchi
- Bread-making with fornaio Giuseppe at Antico Forno Santa Caterina (15th century)
- Historical district walking tour “The urban evolution and rural settlements of Altamura- centro storico from neolithic to medieval era: the historical connection of people, food, and land.
- Cheesemaking at 3rd century B.C. Fornello Cave site with the shepherd and his family. The cheeses of Puglia, traditional rennet, and aging. Participants will make pecorino, mozzarella, bocconcini, treccia, burrata, scamorza.
- Local farm- Durum wheat crops, seeding, and harvesting. Making pasta with durum wheat flour.
- Olive oil tasting and talk on “The origin and evolution of olive oil extraction; distinguishing a true extra-virgin olive oil and demystifying supermarket labeling definitions. Olive orchards- talk on cultivars, pruning, tending, harvesting.
- Work with the butcher and learn about traditional meat cuts. Making salsiccia, brasciola, and carpaccio.
- Take to the street of the nearby town and prepare and cook dinner for locals. Each participant invites a guest from the street.
- Adriatic fish market and Polignano a Mare for grilled fish dinner and wines on the terrace overlooking the sea.
Excursions to Matera, Altamura, Gravina, Bernalda, Calanchi region, Polignano, Valle d’Itria, Mola and historical sites of Botromagno, Jesce, Fornello.