The Bread

Pane CuoreThe bread of Altamura DOP, an essential pivot of the food system of the people of Altamura is the symbol of all naturally leavened Apulian breads, made with remilled semolina of local durum wheat, salt and water, today is at the center of an intense artisanal-type production, which affectively responds to the needs and tastes of the national market and which has characters of strong continuity with tradition. In Altamura there are still many who remember, until years still near, bread, in its typical form (u skuanètè) and in sizable pieces, was mainly kneaded and worked within the home, then finally packaged and baked in public wood-burning ovens, giving rise to a very interesting example of production between private context and collective dimension, with implications of various kinds on the social and cultural levels. And the main characteristic of that bread was not freshness, but durability, necessary to guarantee the nutrition of farmers and shepherds in the weeks or, more often, in the fortnight they spent away from cas, in the masserie and neigli jazzi scattered among the Murgia heights. A diet with very little companionship, centered almost exclusively on bread, often eaten alone or, at most, seasoned with boiling water, salt and a drizzle of oil distributed by the massari. It was the traditional ciallèdde in its poorest form, which among wealthy families was enriched with other ingredients. The quality and notoriety of Altamurano bread, its symbolic and cultural value, its enormous daily production and its now widespread diffusion on the national market are the predominant factors for obtaining the Protected Origin certification.