There are numerous dining venues for every taste.
Brindisi's cuisine is simple with ingredients used, starting with flour or unrefined barley, which is less expensive than wheat. Vegetables, snails, and bluefish figure prominently into its cuisine. Among the recipes are worth mentioning in particular "Pettole"(fried yeast dough, sweet or savory to taste stuffed maybe with cod or anchovy, with cauliflower or broccoli), "Patani tajedda rice and mussels" (rice, potatoes and mussels), soup, fish, mashed potatoes with fava beans, broad beans and mussels, and "Racana mussels".
Beverages, spirits, liquors
Almond milk: made by infusing water with the finely chopped almonds and then squeezing the same to expel the "milk". The region of Apulia has entered the milk of almonds in its list of traditional Italian food products. Limoncello: a liquor made from the peel of fresh lemons and enriched with water, sugar, and alcohol.
Brindisi cheeses are mostly from sheep, due to the significant ranching of sheep and goats. In the summer they produce ricotta, which can be eaten fresh or matured for a few months so that it has a stronger flavor. Typical of the winter season are the Pecorino, ricotta and strong ricotta (or cottage cheese). It is used to flavor spaghetti sauce or spread on bruschetta. Fresh popular cheeses are burrata, junket, Manteca cheese, mozzarella or Fior di latte.
Vegetable products, processed or unprocessed
Vegetables are the true protagonist of the traditional diet of Salento. Depending on the season, are the tops of turnips, various types of cabbage, the beet greens from the thistle, peppers, eggplant and zucchini (all served sun-dried or in olive oil), and artichokes. There are also wild vegetables used in traditional cooking such as chicory, dandelion (or zangune), wild asparagus, the Wild mustard, the thistle, the lampascioni also called pampasciuni or pampasciuli, and capers. Frequent, in the Brindisi kitchen, is the use of green or white tomatoes: mainly used for tomato sauce but they are also consumed in olive oil, after a process of natural drying. Significant is also the consumption of green and black olives, crushed or in brine. Finally, legumes such as beans, peas and Vicia faba, eaten fresh or dried in the spring and during the winter season. Among the dishes prepared with fruit are quince, baked figs and dried figs (prepared with a filling of almonds), jam with orange and lemon, and fig jam.
Pasta, pastry and confectionery
Pasta and bread is made with unrefined flour and thus takes on a dark color. Durum wheat is mixed with a traditional meal. Special local dishes include lasagna with vegetables, cavatelli, orecchiette (stacchioddi in Brindisi dialect) and ravioli stuffed with ricotta.
In breadmaking, local custom favors the use of durum wheat, bread flour and barley bread. For bread made with yeast (called criscituni) and cooked on an oven stone, Brindisi bakers use bundles of olive branches to give the bread a particular scent. One type of traditional bread is made with olives (called puccia). It is made with a much more refined wheat flour than for ordinary bread, to which are added black olives.
Also important are frisella, a sort of dehydrated hard bread which can be stored for a long time, and tarallini, also easily stored for long periods. The pucce and uliate cakes are also typical. Among local desserts, the central place is occupied by almond paste, obtained by grinding shelled almonds and sugar. Another specialty is cartellate, a pastry, particularly prepared around Christmas, made of a thin strip of a dough made of flour, olive oil, and white wine that is wrapped upon itself, intentionally leaving cavities and openings, to form a sort of "rose" shape; the dough is then deep-fried, dried, and soaked in either lukewarm vincotto or honey.
In the area of Brindisi are produced Aleatico di Puglia Doc, Ostuni Doc, Brindisi Rosso DOC, Rosato Brindisi DOC and Puglia IGT. Some grape varieties grown in Brindisi include:
- Malvasia Nera di Brindisi,
The Brindisi DOC produces both red and rose wines from grapes limited to a harvest yield of 15 tonnes/ha and must produce a wine with a minimum 12% alcohol level. The wines are usually blends made predominantly from Negaroamaro and Malvasia Nera but Sangiovese is allowed to compose up to 10% of the blend with Montepulciano allowed to compose up to another 20% (or 30% if Sangiovese is not included). If it is to be a Reserva, the wine is aged a minimum of 2 years before release and must attain a minimum alcohol level of 12.5%.