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  • Writer's pictureManuela Lenoci

“Pane e salute” – Straw oven from 1526

If you arrive in the Monti Dauni, in Orsara di Puglia, this place is like a shrine, you absolutely must visit it.

I went to visit "Angelo" innkeeper of "Pane e salute"- "Bread and Health," and as I arrived at his "sanctuary" at Via Caracciolo13 , I was guided by the heady scent, the unmistakable aroma of bread and its fragrance in the air.

"I made this commitment to make bread and I want to carry it out. I am in the fifth generation"-Angelo Di Biccari said during the interview at the link below.

Angelo Di Biccari love to keep the the tradition ahead. He calls himself the "keeper" of the only existing straw oven in Apulia dating back to the 1500s and active since 1526. It was the communal oven, the one in the village (the law at the time forbade its construction in one's own homes),

People went to bake bread on Fridays. Those who had money and possessed cheese and sausage would barter. Those who were poor would take only half a loaf of bread.

If you buy this loaf (he bakes about fortheen periodically at 4kg each ) it lasts you at home at least for a month, and is the secret food for cooking any kind of dish.

Even when this bread is stale, it turns into the ideal cookie to be dunked in milk or as a key element of pancotto with vegetables, a typical local dish.

This bakery is one of the formidable goodies I discovered in this country, in addition, of course, to meeting "Peppe Zullo, the ambassador of peasant cuisine in the world".

"Pane e Salute", is located in Orsara di Puglia in the province of Foggia. Few people know that this town of not even 3,000 inhabitants was awarded the Cittaslow recognition in 2007. In Angelo's bakery, everything has remained as original as it was then.

The feeling I had was that of living in another era where time stood still and the industriousness of rural life never seemed to give way to modern technology.

One Step at a Time: The Divine Bread

The "centerpiece of the straw oven" is undoubtedly its bread. The Divine Bread, made according to an old recipe from the 19th century. This bread can be stored and consumed even after 15 days. The natural yeast with which it is made is 100 years old, and since then the original strain has been regenerated in the same way every time. Hard wheat is used for the dough, the cultivar is Saragol wheat, a very fine type of wheat, while the wheat used comes from the Tavoliere. Up to forty loaves of bread can be baked inside the oven.

The Pizzeria - U Criatur

Next to the bakery is Angelo's small pizzeria, which, in addition to being a baker, is also a pizzaiolo.

Here pizza tastes like history and the oven is "u criatur," the son. This pizza is made with bread dough. To make a good pizza, we read at the entrance, it takes three people: the baker, the pizza maker and finally the cook

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Welcome to my world

I am an Apulian journalist, 

A little travel, a little fashion and a little FoodLover, this blog is definitely full of many contents that talk about my thousand adventures in Puglia and its surroundings.

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