Learning to Cook Mediterranean Cuisine: the Origins, Methods, and Myths of the Mediterranean Diet
Session 1: June 1-10th 2013
Session 2: July 24th August 2nd, 2013
The venerated cuisine of the Mediterranean has been created and re-created through the course of history by geography, social customs, migration and the mythical and religious universe wrapped around 'eating'.
The Mediterranean diet is inclusive of 'life style' which upholds traditional methods of farming and fishing and nurtures the practice of family meals, and social festivities.
Through visits, discussions, lectures and hands-on activities, the wokshop examines and highlights the production, the ingredients, cooking methods and health benefits of the "diet" that is rooted in a agricultural culture strongly linked to geomorphological characteristics and climate of the region.
The workshop will be held at the Masseria La Selva, dairies, farms, restaurants, bakeries, wineries etc., that are all 'vital' culinary facilities that are maintaining regional culinary traditions .
In addition, there are excursions and guided visits to historical sites of the territory, museums and art exhibitions. Including, a day excursion to the archaeological site of Pompeii where we'll cover the origins of its culinary evolution.
What makes a good olive oil, and why; demystifying the terms virgin, pure and refined' and discuss the pressing processes. Why 'Altamura bread', the 'peasant' bread, is so renowned and why its properties made it suitable for long journeys. How to make a clay oven. Cheese making- burrata and mozzarella. What were they eating in Pompeii- a period that birthed the idea of 'chefs' and 'recipe'. The Art of charcuterie and butchery. Traditional methods of cultivation. Homemade Pasta. Clay pots and slow cooking shepherd style. Fish feasting at the seaside port in Trani. Review the archeological finds that tell us of how and what our ancestors ate and drank and related rituals. The personal thrill of hunting for and identifying wild and edible plants. Bake traditional pastries in a Nunnery with local Nuns who once used baking sweets for festivals as a way of economically sustaining themselves. Making dinner for local guests along the corso in Piazza Duomo in Altamura. Wine tasting.
Produce and raw ingredients are locally sourced. The discussions, lectures and practical activities are organized according to the following themes:
Wine and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Territory, cultivars, varieties, processing/extraction
Exams, tasting, pairing.
Dairy Products and Meats
Cycle of production and processing.
Nutritional properties and varieties
Best use of product to reduce 'waste'.
Bread and Pasta
Varieties of wheat; flour; gluten, celiac .
D.O.P., handicraft production; types and forms, recipes.
Legumes and Vegetables
Territory, seasonality, organic production, markets.
Nutritional factors, recipes,( methods of use in the kitchen?)
Wild edible plants and herbs
Identifying, harvesting and cooking.
Mediterranean resources, sustainable fisheries, markets seasonality.
Farmed products, nutritional factors, recipes, methods of cooking.
Traditions and Regional culture
The sessions are set for groups of participants for a minimum of 8 to a maximum of 16.
+3 day Itinerary Extension (total 10 days)- includes option A or B $1850 CAD / € 1450 EUR
Includes: accommodation, meals, trasportation from and to Bari Airport or main Train Station and field trips, classes and lectures, guided tours, entrance fees to art exhibitions, museums and archeological sites.
Does Not Include: Personal costs such as airfare, trainfare or spending money; Health Insurance
Arrival and transfer from the airport in Bari to Masseria La selva
Welcome aperitivo, introduction to the program. Lunch and /or dinner Masseria La Selva
Visit to Altamura historical district. Old bakery.
Lunch at Antica Osteria (traditional cuisine)
Culinary History: from the pre-history to the classic era. Crops, meats, ingredients and the methods of cooking.
Building a clay oven with natural materials. Bread making
Wine Tasting and Dinner
Cheese making workshop at Masseria La Selva
Foraging wild edible plants and herbs: wild asparagus, wild chicory.
Visit to Sassi di Matera, Carlo Levi art exhibitions
Practice methods of preserving seasonal crops.
Visit to Trani or Polignano. Fish market. Fish cooking workshop and fish feast by the sea.
Afternoon on the beach
Culinary History: The origin and evolution of olive oil extraction.
Pasta making workshop and olive oil tasting at Masseria La Selva.
Day trip to Pompeii.
The food, recipes and the chefs during the Roman period.
Dinner Masseria La Selva
Butchering and charcuterie workshop at working masseria in Venosa the native town of the latin poet Horace
Culinary History: methods of cooking and preserving meats.
Visit and wine tasting at local winery.
Making dinner for local guests in the “corso” ( main street) in Altamura.
(The Daily Cycle of a Shepherd)
transfer to the Sheep-Herding program location
San Lorenzo Bellizzi - Monte Pollino
Introduction:Shepherding- "the unique type of culture around pastoral/shepherds activities: close contact with nature and the solitude of a shepherds occupation".
Dinner with the sheperd: Cheese tasting and traditional food.
Wake before sunrise. Following the shepherds activities from dawn to dusk.
Milking of the sheep. Cheese making process.
Going into the pastures: the herbs for the herds to obtain healthy cheese.
Rest under the shade of the trees. Wine and appetizers.
Origin of Domestication of the animals. Economy, feeding and religious aspects.
Milking the sheep.
Milking the sheep. Cheese- making: different types of cheeses and other dairy products.
The role of the 'enzyme' in cheese-making process.
Going into the pastures. Water sources
"Shepherding" in literature and arts- 'shepherd' as symbol or attributes of the occupation- in the Bible and other ancient philosophical text and poetry.
Dinner in town with the community.
Insight into the cheeses of southern Italy and specifically typical of Puglia: soft/stringy curd cheeses and hard cheeses.
Learn more about what the various changes in the process do to change the quality of the cheese.
Participants will be making several cheeses (Mozzarella, Bocconcini, Treccia, Burrata, Scamorza, Provolone, Canestrato ect) .Aging cheese: such as natural rind development and cave aging.
Butchering, curing and preserving meats; cuts of meat, cooking fresh meat, methods of curing and preserving without loosing quality.
'Seasonal' game and farm raised meats.
Olive oil tasting: distinguishing a true extravirgin olive oil and demystifying supermarket labeling definitions.
Olive varieties and blending.
Learning how the methods of harvesting and extraction processing influence the characteristics of an olive oil. Learning how to distinguish qualities and defects.