For the majority of holidaymakers, food plays an integral role in enhancing the experience, getting a feel for local cultures and simply serving as an excuse to relax, unwind and indulge. Of course, not everyone is on the same page of the recipe book when it comes to how food is prepared.
While some people maintain that they “don’t go on holiday to cook” and would much rather be served up meals by someone else, others would contest that they “enjoy cooking as a pastime and prefer to prepare meals for the family rather than eat junk food on holiday.” So does one argument trump the other?
We have taken as an example a villa holiday in Puglia, southern tip of Italy, to reason on the matter and help you to make a choice. Why Puglia? Because the region has a warm Mediterranean climate, boasts the Italian longest coastline, is peppered with fairy-tale towns of trullo houses and majestic masseria (local farmhouses), Baroque Palaces and churches, ancient olive groves and fantastic beaches.
Furthermore, Puglia is a heaven for foodies and Italian wine lovers so a villa holiday in Puglia is a fantastic pick. Read on for our guide to the ultimate holiday decider: cooking VS not cooking!
Why Cooking during your villa holiday in Puglia?
- Immerse yourself in local flavours
One of the great things about cooking while on holiday is the opportunity to really immerse yourself in local flavours.
The experience of heading to a farmers market, deli or grocery store gives you a chance to purchase your own ingredients, chat to the locals and find out first-hand where produce originates from.
Puglia, Italy’s southern heel is peppered with farms and orchards that produce fantastically fresh produce that can be purchased at local markets across the region.
Durum wheat, vine ripened tomatoes, artichokes, fava beans, rocket, courgettes, beans, fennel, peppers, onions, beef and lamb are all core local ingredients, not to mention the unique ‘orecchiette’ ear shaped pasta shells.
- Bond with your family
We love the social aspect of cooking and think it’s a great way for families and friends to bond while on holiday.
When renting a holiday villa in Puglia, southern Italy, with Aria Luxury Apulia, guests enjoy deluxe kitchen facilities that make cooking an absolute pleasure.
Cooking at home is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in local cultures and traditions. For example, as you add a splash of fragrant olive oil to a pan you’ll really get a feel for why the region produces around 40% of Italy’s olive oil output.
When you prepare pasta al forno, a famous provincial dish made up of meatballs, hard-boiled eggs and a melt in your mouth pasta you’ll not only be creating a sensationally rich meal but you’ll also be following in the footsteps of generations of Puglian families who treasure this regional recipe.
- Learn how to make handmade pasta & more
Holidaymakers that love to don chef’s hats should always consider signing up for a cookery class in Puglia.
This will arm them with a new skill set that they can then use to whip up local delights in their holiday accommodation kitchen, as well as back home.
A cooking class with Aria Luxury Apulia is the perfect way to hone your Italian cooking skills and master the art of preparing Puglia’s signature cuisine called ‘Cucina Povera’.
- Save on holiday expenses
For those on a budget cooking is a great way to cut down on holiday expenses while having fun. Rather than fork out on meals for every member of the party you can buy ingredients for wholesale prices and prepare handmade dishes for a fraction of the cost.
- Indulge in good wine from Puglia
After putting in all the hard work in the kitchen you’ll have well and truly earned a glass of Puglia’s celebrated wine.
The region produces around 17% of the country’s entire output, with viticulture is deeply entrenched in local culture and livelihood.
The black bitter Negroamaro grapes used to produce the iconic Salice Salentino is a must try tipple, as is the full bodied, highly alcoholic Primitivo di Manduria.
Why Eating Out during your Holiday to Puglia?
- Just choose food from a menu
For most, the experience of eating out at a restaurant or café is one of the most enjoyable aspects of holidaying.
The luxury of choosing whatever you like from the menu, being served on by an attentive waiter, enjoying tasty cuisine and not having to do any washing up is unsurpassed.
- Let the chef do the work
Holidaymakers often prefer to eat out simply because it’s easier. The shopping is done, the meals are prepared and most of the time the chefs are masters of creating mouth-watering cuisine.
- Enjoy the Puglian food culture at its best
Another major perk of eating out is the opportunity to experience the culture and ambience of a destination.
Whether it’s breakfast at a bustling laneway café, lunch at a local eatery or a sunset dinner by the ocean, dining out is an exciting and enjoyable experience.
If you want to enjoy the best of both worlds why not consider commissioning a private chef in your Italian Villa for the evening.