All you need to know about weekly local markets in Puglia
Weekly local markets are a pleasant way to get a taste of traditional life in Puglia. Every Apulian town organizes a local market once a week.
Several choices of local fresh food products as seasonal fruit, vegetables, seafood, local meat and the typical Apulian dishes, like “burrata” and “mozzarella” cheeses, the best excellence of our region. Other than the food, there are the streets of clothing stalls, home and cooking tools.
Local markets are typically open from 8 AM to 1 PM.
Visiting an outdoor market can be a fun experience during your trip to Puglia, even if you don’t have to buy something. Exploring the culinary offerings of a place is always nice, especially for gourmets or people who enjoy to discover and taste new food. If you’re on a self-catering holiday, buying food is one of the first things to do. Here, then, everything you need to know about local weekly markets in Puglia.
Markets in Puglia are undoubtedly the best places to buy fruit and vegetables, not only because the prices are lower than those of supermarkets or grocery stores, but because quality and freshness are often higher. For local people weekly markets are not only a place to shop but also places to meet other people. Often after attending the same market for several weeks, people end up finding a couple of trust stands that best meet their needs for price/quality/ variety and always go there. But on a first visit, it is difficult to understand which stand to choose. So here is our advice for you to better enjoy the local weekly markets in Puglia.
TOUCH THE GOODS: YES OR NOT?
In some stands, the seller will forbid you from touching the goods and you will have to order them directly, while in other stands they will provide you some bags to pick up the items for weighing. This last option is often preferred as you are free to choose the pieces that inspire you the most, on the other hand, however, you have to think about how many hands will have passed over the fruit and vegetable you take home.
TOO MANY QUESTIONS?
Some sellers will ask you what you are going to do with the things you are buying: do you want to fry them? To boil? To bake? Do you want to make a sauce with them or eat raw? This does not mean that sellers are nosy, they can simply sell you the best product for your purpose. Sellers also know how to give you the right product depending on when you’re going to eat it: for example, if you’re going to eat it the same day or later.
CHECK THE QUEUE!
Sometimes we tend to evaluate the quality of the goods in the stands according to the queue there is: more local people there are in the queue, higher the quality of the goods. This is partly true but not always. The queue can be given by other causes such as, for example, the affordability or a relationship of trust/knowledge of the seller with the customers.
A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
Keep in mind that even if you’re not planning to buy or cook anything, a walk to the market can also be enlightening to learn about the offer of the place and to improve your gastronomic choices during your stay in Puglia. Stroll around the market to see which fruit or vegetables are most present, or which are the names of most popular cheeses and cured meats or fish. This is a great way to learn what is local and in season, and then maybe look for those products in the restaurant menus you go to.
DON’T GO TOO LATE
Weekly local markets usually start early in the morning and last until noon. However, we advise you not to go too late for two reasons. First, because the best products will already have been chosen and second because, especially in summer, the products will have been warm for many hours and therefore could have been damaged.
YOU CAN SAY “NO”
A very frequent attitude from the seller is to try to sell you more quantities than that required/chosen with the excuse of rounding off the price (obviously rounding off in excess). You can say no, it is not mandatory to accept.
ASK IF YOU CAN TASTE
If you want to be sure of the quality of the product you are about to buy you can ask to “assaggiare”, that is to taste it. Sometimes the sellers themselves will propose it.
Small useful dictionary for Apulian markets
“1 etto” equals 100 grams, a little less than a quarter of a pound. The plural is “Etti”.
“Busta” (Boosta) or “Sacchetto” (Saketto)
Both are words to call a bag, a word that sellers often use.
Sometimes vegetables can be sold “al mazzo”, that is per bunch instead of weight.
Sometimes the fruit can be sold “al cestino”, that is per basket instead of weight.
Sometimes fruit and vegetables can be sold “al pezzo”, that is per piece instead of weight.
Below are the opening days of the main weekly markets of Puglia.
Andria – Viale Gramsci (nearby Villa Comunale)
Vieste – Lungomare Europa
Lecce – Viale dello Stadio
Noci – Piazza G. Garibaldi
Otranto – Via Calamuri
Gallipoli – Via Vittorio Alfieri
Putignano – C.so Umberto I.
Alberobello – Largo Martellotta
Brindisi – Rione Sant’Elia
Porto Cesareo – Lungomare Ponente
Polignano a Mare – Via V.C. Basile
Locorotondo – Piazza Antonio Mitrano
Conversano – Via Turi nearby campo sportivo “Lorusso”
Ostuni – Largo Onorevole Galizia.
Savelletri – Lungomare Nazario Sauro