ALSO FOR VEGAN
The Ciallédde is a typical dish of Locorotondo, village in the province of Bari, and of the onetime poor farming cuisine, but the fact that it is nutritious, light and fresh makes it extremely current. This dish of the Apulia region was born at the beginning of the last century, a period dominated by poverty; in fact, families were compelled to get by with the simple ingredients that they could find in their homes, such as stale bread and products from the vegetable garden. The favourite dish to prepare was the fresh “ciallédde”, a term with an onomatopoeic sound that reminds the stale bread almost “drowned” in the water dressed with extra virgin olive oil, salt, tomatoes used for salads and oregano. The “ciallédde”, which has also a hot version that you can taste in the winter period, is the typical dish of the farming and Mediterranean cuisine. People used to eat it during daybreak to face up to a long and strenuous day and sometimes when they came back home together with their family for dinner. This dish recalls smells and tastes that have already been forgotten, but it is ideal for summer evenings because it is a fresh and easy to make course. Locorotondo is the capital of taste in the Salento area. In this village there are of course many festivals where people eat, dance and sing. If you want to try this fanciful dish, you can go to the Ciallédde Festival that takes place on the last Sunday of June in the Contrada San Giuseppe.
First of all take a spacious bowl and put the cold water in it where you will add the squashed tomatoes, the little and sweet ones, the tender part of a celery stem which you previously minced, an abundant pinch of oregano and salt to taste; the pepper and the garlic are not indispensable but if you like them they will add a fresh touch to your dish. Mix really well the mixture, then immerse the stale traditional bread in pieces in it and mix again slowly so that the bread can absorb this tasty sauce. Lastly, you will add a great amount of extra virgin olive oil to the bread, obviously raw. All you have to do now is mix everything one more time and then the dish is ready to be served.