Vitigliano Dried Pea

Ark of taste
Back to the archive >

The dried Vitigliano pea, also called “piseddhru quarantinu” or “piseddhru cucìulu”, has been grown for generations in Vitigliano area (a district in Santa Cesarea Terme).
The pea is average in size, smooth, mustard-coloured with greed shading, and round shaped. The term “quarantinu” means that the plant can reach a maximum height of 40cm, and the term “cucìulu” means “easy to cook”, underscoring their special tenderness and outer integument. Its flavour is pleasantly sweet.
The product ripens in June when the peas are rolled in “rosci”, round-shaped bunches. They are harvested by hand using a sickle. The “rosci” are taken to a courtyard and left in the sun for a few hours before threshing, which opens the pods. At the centre of the courtyard the “curisciùlu” takes place (from “curìscia” in dialect, belt). “U ientulare” (airing) consists of further separating the peas from the last impurities by taking advantage of the wind. After this step, they are hand sorted using the so-called “farnari occhi tunnu”, wooden and metal sieves to eliminate too small peas and eliminate the remaining dust. To better conserve them, they are dried in the sun in the courtyard for a few days. Finally, they are dried in an oven, placed in jute bags so they cool off slowly, then taken to storage where they are kept in dry terracotta containers (“stangate”).

The dried Vitigliano pea is traditionally cooked in a pignatta (a terracotta pot) with onions, tomatoes, parsley and salt, served with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
In the past, “u panicottu” was cooked with leftover peas from the day before, using rusks or day-old bread.

Back to the archive >




Production area:Vitigliano Commune (province of Lecce)

Other info



Nominated by:Antonio De Santis