We recently spent 5 days with Cinzia and Marika at Stile Mediterraneo, and the experience could not have been better. The two women generously shared their knowledge of the traditional, regional ways of cooking, passed down through generations. The excursions led by Cinzia were incredible – the fish markets and beach in Gallipoli, an olive oil plantation and factory for a tasting (Cinzia is a certified olive oil taster and judge), two wineries for tastings( Cinzia is also a certified sommelier), and a local produce market to view and sample cheeses, nuts, fruits, as well as local culture. The cooking classes in the afternoon were held in the family’s renovated palazzo in nearby Squinzano, a short ride from Lecce, where we stayed in a lovely, centrally located B&B. Transportation was provided. As teachers, the two sisters were incredibly well organized, with preparation done before we arrived, and well written handouts with the recipes. The menus were varied. We all had the opportunity to participate in creating traditional dishes. Each day we made a different kind of pasta. All the food was delicious, and we especially enjoyed the emphasis on the health benefits of the Mediterranean style of food preparation. We enjoyed the fruits of our labors together, sharing dinner, wine, and conversation. While it is possible to visit for just a day or two, visiting over several days allows the opportunity to really experience the many facets of this lovely part of Puglia.
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