A first for me, a food blog about the refreshing barattiere from Puglia. A fabulous addition to your summer salads.
Add Refreshing Barattiere From Puglia To Your Salads
What is Barattiere?
Barattiere is a fruit that is grown in Puglia in Southern Italy. Along with ‘meloncello‘ and other varieties it also goes under the generic name of ‘carosello‘. In reality it has lots of different names in different parts of Southern Italy, often in specific dialects. It belongs to the same species as honeydew melon ‘cucumis melo‘ and can be used as an alternative to cucumber in salads.
An Alternative to Cucumber
I don’t know about you but I am a bit hit and miss, in digestive terms, when it comes to cucumber. In the UK we have long smooth skinned cucumbers that I cannot eat as they give me such indigestion. Ordinary Italian cucumbers are shorter with a thicker skin and I find I can tolerate these rather better (eaten peeled).
For me, finding the barattiere is a wonderful alternative. It doesn’t have ‘cucurbitacin‘ which is apparently the chemical that can cause the indigestion. There is your lesson for today chums!
New To Local Shops Where I live
What is really interesting is that the cultivation of the barattiere has been going on in Puglia for centuries but only just started appearing in the shops here in Central Italy this year.
I came across barattiere and meloncello in one of my local supermarkets and didn’t know what they were or what to do with them! You buy them by the kilo so I originally bought one of each to try. I tried the meloncello first and got the same reaction to cucumber. I hesitated before trying the second fruit but that was a revelation and they are now a daily part of our salad ingredients.
The important thing to note is that you eat the barattiere before it ripens – it should have a crunch to it!
Preparation of the Barattiere
In a moment of madness I decided to demo the preparation of a barattiere on video. The following video was filmed by a very reluctant Barnet Boy hence my saying it was filmed in grumpyvision.
Barattiere is gorgeous in a salad, perhaps chopped and mixed in with salad leaves as you might use a cucumber. It is also nice to eat in slices, it makes a refreshing snack to munch on its own on a hot day. I would imagine you could also use one half, scooped out and fill it with other goodies and then present it to guests as a starter.
For our lunch we used the fruit sliced as I show in the video. I presented it with a tomato and mozzarella, dressed with basil sprigs and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I also found some fabulous bread to go with it. It was made with buckwheat flour, potato flour and walnuts a wonderful contrast with the rest of the meal. Barnet Boy finished his off with a glass of red wine.
So look out for the barattiere and give it a go – you will be pleasantly surprised!
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!