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The best things to eat in Otranto, Italy

The best things to eat in Otranto, Italy

by George Black

This place has seen the sands of time consume peoples and cultures, it has become one of the most interesting places keeping the spirit of old Europe, and its name was immortalized in the very first publically known Gothic novel. Otranto is located on the east coast of the Salento peninsula and shares its name with the Strait of Otranto that connects the Adriatic Sea with the Ionian Sea and separates Italy from Albania. Numerous natural and historical attractions can be found there, as well as some traditional and current food.

1. Pate is a good starter
Pate is a good starter
Pate

Pâté in a popular dish in French cuisine. It is a filled pastry made of puréed liver, meat, fish, vegetables, herbs, or spices. Pâté is traditionally served as an appetizer or full course in a multicourse meal.

#8 of 170 restaurants in Otranto
Italian, Mediterranean
Via Rondachi, 7, Otranto, Apulia, Italy
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Europeans have been waging war and then forging peace for so long it's honestly rather difficult to trace the routes of various dishes to a specific part of the continent, yet we still try. The actual origins of meat pate are mirky but traditionally attributed to France. However, many Italians would argue with that, and the restaurants of Otranto have a surprisingly strong presence of pate in their menus. As good a choice for appetizers and the first position on our list as it gets. It's always nice to kick off a found journey with a paste, pie or loaf filled with forcemeat.

Peccato di Vino is a restaurant with a nice name and nicer offerings, including pate.

2. Seafood pasta is a local gem
Seafood pasta is a local gem
Seafood pasta

Traditionally seafood pasta is a mix of prawns, clams, mussels and scallops, all tossed together with spaghetti in a homemade tomato sauce. An easy yet elegant Mediterranean meal that’s perfect for entertaining.

#3 of 170 restaurants in Otranto
Seafood, Italian
Via Luigi Eula, 7, Otranto, Apulia, Italy
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Since Otranto is a coastal city, a more pronounced presence of seafood than in more continental places is to be expected. Combine that with the unique skill of Italian chefs to turn almost any product into an ingredient for amazing pasta, and you will get the second offering on our list - the seafood pasta. No explanation is probably required, it's pasta with seafood like prawns, clams, mussels, and a variety of sauces that don't spoil the taste but make a non-traditional combination work.

Retrogusto is the Otranto restaurant to pick for seafood pasta.

3. Spaghetti vongole is even more interesting
Spaghetti vongole is even more interesting
Spaghetti vongole

This delicious Venetian clam pasta started life as peasant food, and has become an Italian classic. The main ingredient for a ‘real’ pasta alle vongole is ‘vongola verace’ commonly known as the cross-cut carpet shell clam, found both farmed and wild all over Italy.

Seafood, Italian
Via Antonio Sforza, Otranto, Apulia, Italy
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Since we mentioned seafood pasta, we can get even more precise. Otranto chefs are no strangers to making spaghetti, including its seafood varieties. One of the more particular variations is called spaghetti vongole, or "spaghetti with clams". Italians prepare this dish two ways: "in bianco", i.e., with oil, garlic, parsley, and sometimes a splash of white wine; and "in rosso", like the former but with tomatoes and fresh basil, the addition of tomatoes. The clams are added to spaghetti along with salt, black pepper and a handful of finely chopped parsley.

Nautilus has all your needs covered in terms of this kind of spaghetti.

4. Mussels are old-school
Mussels are old-school
Mussels

Mussels are a type of bivalve mollusks, that are similar to clams and oysters. They are a great source of vitamins and have a mild, faintly sweet flavor. Mussels can be pan-roasted, steamed, stewed, or added to other dishes.

#2 of 141 Italian restaurants in Otranto
Seafood, Italian, Mediterranean
Via Cenobio Basiliano, 23, Otranto, Apulia, Italy
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While we're still riding the seafood train, let's mention something that's been edible for thousands of years but rarely gets mentioned in today's age of more sophisticated dishes. Mussels are common in Otranto and are mixed with other seafood, they are consumed often steam-cooked, sometimes with white wine, herbs, and served with the remaining water and some lemon. As with all shellfish, except shrimp, mussels should be checked to ensure they are still alive just before they are cooked, which may be a turnoff to some consumers.

Laltrobaffo has good mussels.

5. Salsiccia is a transition dish
Salsiccia is a transition dish
Salsiccia

It's Italian pork sausage seasoned with fennel and numerous spices. The dish is cooked from ground or minced pork and fat that are filled into pork or sheep casing and then cured or smoked.

#7 of 170 restaurants in Otranto
Italian, Pizza
SP48, Otranto, Apulia, Italy
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Let us now move away from seafood to something with more meat. Italians are extremely good with sausages and seasonings, which results in salsiccia literally being referred to as the "Italian sausage". Its main feature is being seasoned with fennel as the primary seasoning. This kind of sausage can be mild or hot. The main difference between hot and mild is the addition of hot red pepper flakes to the spice mix of the former. If you look for a spicy starter or a side dish, salsiccia is a great choice.

Corte del Casaro has a decent selection of salsiccia.

6. Tartare is really gritty
Tartare is really gritty
Tartare

Meat tartare - a delicious dish for lovers of exclusive food with the addition of raw meat. Despite the fact that the main component of the dish is raw coarse beef, the tartare is truly delicious. This dish is prepared surprisingly fairly quickly but served as a gourmet dish along with dry red wine and fresh vegetable salad.

#3 of 109 seafood restaurants in Otranto
Seafood, Fast food, Sandwiches
Corso Garibaldi, 39, Otranto, Apulia, Italy
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Let's keep getting into the meat of things. One of the less popular but no less interesting dishes found in Otranto restaurants is tartare. The dish is basically the result of the evolution of Mongolian rider's food from the ancient times when the horse riders from Asia tenderized meat under their saddles and ate it raw. In general, the softer cuts are also the most suitable for preparing tartare. The seasoning may vary depending on the taste and type of meat. It is essential not to inflate with temperature.

Different types of tartare can be found at SoFish.

7. Burrata is making things smoother
Burrata is making things smoother
Burrata

Burrata is Italian cheese that is an excellent combination of mozzarella and cream. Its name comes from the word "burro", which means butter. Each ball is a mozzarella bag stuffed with filling.

#14 of 170 restaurants in Otranto
Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Gluten-free
Via Idro, 32, Otranto, Apulia, Italy
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Our meat roller coaster is full-speed at this point, but let's make a pause and look for something lighter and simpler than steaks and sausages. The milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream is a perfect means of transitioning between heavier meals and dishes. It's called burrata and it is getting more and more popular among food lovers around the world. It's a great alternative to the more common types of cheese due to a little bit of exotic feeling and the healthier components, though the last point is arguable.

Al Tartufo is an amazing place for burrata and similar foods.

8. Antipasto is very serious
Antipasto is very serious
Antipasto

Antipasto is a traditional Italian snack (the word “antipasto” literally means “before meals”). Can be hot or cold, and contain cold cuts, seafood, cheeses, and vegetables.

#1 of 170 restaurants in Otranto #1 of 35 restaurants in Uggiano La Chiesa
Italian
SP358, Otranto, Apulia, Italy
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We've been talking about light and heavy dishes quite randomly, while there's a serious and natural option for something that starts and completes a formal Italian meal. In Otranto, people take antipasto as seriously as it can be taken. Traditional antipasto includes cured meats, olives, pepperoncini, mushrooms, anchovies, artichoke hearts, various cheeses. Antipasto is served at the table and signifies the official beginning of the dinner. As tasty as it is exquisite, this is typical Italian food.

Masseria Bandino is a safe bet for antipasto.

9. Tiramisu is a great finisher
Tiramisu is a great finisher
Tiramisu

It's an authentic no-bake Italian dessert with a coffee flavor. It means 'cheer me up' because of the two caffeine-containing ingredients - coffee and cocoa. Tiramisu is made from espresso-dipped ladyfingers and mascarpone cream.

#5 of 170 restaurants in Otranto
Seafood, Italian, Mediterranean
Strada Vicinale Fabrizio, Otranto, Apulia, Italy
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Since we're already near the end of our list, it's worth talking about desserts. The most famous Italian dessert is, no doubt, tiramisu. The recipe has been adapted into many varieties of cakes and other desserts made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone. On July 29, 2017, Tiramisu was entered by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies on the list of traditional Friulian and Giulian agri-food products.

Il Diavolicchio Goloso offers many great desserts, including tiramisu.

10. Gelato is cool
Gelato is cool
Gelato

It's traditional Italian ice cream acknowledged to be one of the best frozen desserts in the world. Gelato was introduced by the Italian chef in Paris in 1600. This dessert contains 3.25% milk and sugar. It has a lower percentage of fat and less air, that's why it boasts of a richer texture.

#1 of 16 restaurants with desserts in Otranto
Largo Cavour, 8, Otranto, Apulia, Italy
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We've talked about hot foods and seafood delicacies, but colder things in life deserve a little warmth too. Like, for example, the tastiest cold dessert invented in Italy and called gelato. It's known throughout the world as the more interesting alternative to mass-produced ice cream. Gelato typically contains much less air and more flavouring than other kinds of frozen desserts, giving it more density and richness of a unique dish. Traditional flavours of gelato include vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, almond, pistachio, etc.

Gelateria Cavour will help you cool off with some gelato.

Otranto is a place where you can feel the history and legacy of the streets and buildings when just walking around. Enjoying a good meal will only amplify aesthetic pleasure. Have fun exploring the place that gave inspiration to the angsty and beautiful literary genre, as well as many people who live there today.

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The best things to eat in Otranto, Italy