The Hidden Gem of Salento: Rustico

Flaky, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth goodness that is difficult to find outside of Lecce, Bari, and Brindisi. This mid-morning snack is cheap, extremely filling, and very tasty. So what is it?

You can guess by looking at it that it is made with puff pastry, which although is delicious, is not the star of this show. The filling is a b├ęchamel sauce, tomato or a tomato sauce, pepper, and mozzarella.

I’ve heard that not all rustico’s contain b├ęchamel, and not all contain mozzarella, but the ones I’ve had always come with both. If you get to the shop before they’re pulled from the oven – you’re in luck! These bad-boys are best served piping hot! Sure, you may burn off all of your taste buds as you munch through the crunchy, buttery exterior and reach the literally molten core. But if this is the last thing you ever taste, you probably won’t regret it.

Our favorite Rustico is from a bar called… American Bar. I know, I know. No, they are not actually an American bar. In fact, in Brindisi there is also “Bar Manhattan,” which happens to be our favorite!

So don’t miss your chance if you head to Salento! Get a rustico… or 10.



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