If you go to Apulia, you will definitely eat “puccia”.
Puccia is a sort of flatbread (its dough is leavened and similar to pizza dough), and you will be able to stuff it with anything you want, just like creating the perfect sandwich.
But most people don’t know that there are several kinds of puccia bread according to the way it’s baked, and many of them haven’t had the chance to taste the style with white onions and black olives.
What’s the difference between this ‘puccia’ bread and the others?
In Apulian dialect, this is called “puccia ujarola”, because of the oil both inside the dough and the olives themselves. It is usually kneaded with a bit of tomato paste to give this puccia bread a peculiar reddish color. Onions are cut in big chunks or small slices according to the baker’s taste but the olives must be black. The black olives found in this region are similar to the Greek ‘Kalamata’ type which are full of taste but slightly dry and bitter. The onions and olives are loosely kneaded into the puccia dough dotting the bread with flavor.
Why is this ‘puccia’ so special for me?
This Apulian puccia bread with white onions and black olives is the first thing that I ate in summer 2020 when I met my girlfriend’s parents for the first time. As soon as I bit into it, I was surprised.
My palate recognized that it was also the first time I had eaten something that was remarkably different and yet similar. This style of puccia has the right amount of oil, is salty when you catch an olive, but is also sweet because of the tomato. The smell of the onions is uplifting, but you can’t chew or bite into the onions as they are completely incorporated and melted into the crumb. This fusion of the onions into the bread itself is also why this puccia doesn’t affect your breath or your digestion.
All of these feelings are fresh in my mind because it’s quite a recent memory, but I’m sure that Apulian puccia bread with white onions and black olives will keep being memorable for a very long time!
Is there a ‘puccia ujarola’ recipe?
Moreover, it isn’t something you can easily recreate at home, so sadly we do not have a recipe for this. As my brother-in-law, Lorenzo told me: “Its recipe is trade secret like Coca Cola or KFC fried chicken, but healthier. You can’t learn it but you must enjoy the moments whenever you can eat this puccia!”
Due to this, I just have one suggestion from the bottom of my heart: if you’ve got the chance to do so, go visit Apulia! Look for the puccia bread with white onions and black olives in the bakeries all over the region, especially in the more southern area of Salento. You won’t regret it!