Among these figure sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, and capers. The tomato and its varieties represent the red gold of Apulia, first in Europe for the quality and quantity thereof. When tomatoes are at their ripest, they are dried hygienically and processed according to ancient traditional methods that involve the addition of white wine vinegar. Then, the dried tomatoes are dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and aromatized with rigorously local spices.
Characterized by a distinctive and penetrating flavor and aphrodisiac properties, caper flowers bud out from woody shrubs called Capparis spinosa and growing in calcareous, dry soils across the Mediterranean area. Italy boasts a long history of caper cultivation, particularly widespread in Sicily where capers have been included in the official list of traditional regional agro-food products (PAT). Suffice it to mention the salt-packed capers from the volcanic island of Pantelleria. Capers not only form part of many different dishes but also come with the following benefits: they leave cholesterol levels unaffected; contain large amounts of phytonutrients, vitamins, and antioxidant flavonoid compounds like rutin and quercetin; and can serve as a natural remedy for allergies.