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  • Writer's pictureGary Mack

Puglia and Pulia: Beside the seaside

Today will be a day beside the seaside. Neither of us are amazing swimmers but we do enjoy a good paddle.

Breakfast is nice and easy. Some beautiful peaches and plums from the fruit market very close to our apartment.

One thing I used to miss when we came to Italy was toast! The first year here we searched and searched for a bruschetta grill. We call it a "bruschellina". I asked in every kitchen shop and every we-sell-everything shop. No one had any idea what I was talking about. It might have helped if I knew the name of the instrument. I knew such a thing existed, as I used to sell them in Divertimenti (London's best and most famous kitchen shops). The bruschellina is used to toast bread on the hob. It's ideal for bruschetta. The bread toasts in such a way that the centre stays soft. While the outside of the bread chars. The smoke from the charred parts permeate up through the bread giving it a beautiful smoked flavour. It can also be used to chargrill peppers, but I prefer the direct flame method.

I finally managed to track down a bruschellina, no surprise I found it back in London in Divertimenti. (click here to buy) I ended up buying two! Call me mad, but I always bring one on holiday.

After our lazy late morning breakfast we headed to the beach. It no more then 50 metres from our front door. The midday sun is super hot but bobbing around in the Adriatic is cooling and somehow good for the soul.

There is another very good way of cooling down and that's a healthy dollop of ice cream. In Cafe Napoli. one ice cream in particular has to be mentioned and I hope to be eating a lot more of it: The ricotta and pear ice cream. Never have I tasted an ice cream like it. It had a very distinctive ricotta cheese flavour, almost savoury, but the the sweet toffee-like pear pushed the ice-cream over to the sweet side of deliciousness.  I wish I could post some home and get our friend Maria to make it. She's a whiz with an ice cream maker!

So with the sun going down we start to think about dinner. What shall we do? Having had a beautiful lunch we really should eat in and I am not sure if I can face any more octopus!

Decision made, we head our for an aperitif.

Things change when we find out that the circus is in town! Literally all over the old town. We decided to grab a pizza and salad at Pizzeria 10, in the Piazza Garibaldi. Service was a little grumpy. As much as I tried to get the waiters to crack a smile they were not having it. However the salad, chips (naughty but nice) and pizza were amazing. Porchetta with porcini for me and sausage and porcini mushroom for Jonathan.  The smell of truffle oil smacked our nostrils when the pizzas landed on the table. I love and hate the smell of truffle oil. It stinks and pongs, but then turns to a garlicky pungent smell that get the taste buds very excited!  We were soon stuffed. We ask the waiter is we could take the uneaten pizza home. We can munch on it for breakfast or a midnight snack (if we're still awake at midnight - these long days of relaxation are in a strange way very tiring!)

We wondered around the old town as we have done many time but tonight was magical  because of the circus. It reminded me of a favourite book, "The Night Circus". Mysterious and magical (click the link to buy). We watch ladies on stilts and a trapeze artists perform. Lovely to see the town alive.

Time for bed zzzzz

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