Apulian bombette: the recipe

The Apulian bombette are small (3-5 centimeters) meat rolls made with slices of capocollo (pork neck) rolled up on themselves, seasoned according to taste, skewered on the classic thin skewer and roasted. They are generally filled with pieces of Apulian canestrato cheese, salt, pepper and sometimes parsley.

Apulian bombette
Apulian bombette

The term “bombette” is clear about the explosion of taste that occurs when tasting them. The origins of this preparation, a very important piece of the Apulian food tradition, date back to the 1960s when some local butchers began to offer them as freshly cooked food and to be consumed on site, in a public environment that became almost familiar when, together with the meat of the counter chosen on the spot, the meal was accompanied with good red wine. Since then their fame has made them sought after and loved by everyone. The bombette are generally cooked on the grill or in the classic stoves that some butchers still have. Often served as street food, they are excellent with a good slice of local bread.

The bombette are typical of the butchers and grills (with the traditional cooking method) of Bari, Brindisi and Taranto, cities in which it is easy to consume them freshly roasted, or buy them and then cook them at home. Many associate the geographical origin of this specialty with the territory of the Itria Valley and it is claimed that outside the borders of Puglia, bowler hats are almost unknown.

Variants of the Apulian bowlers

The traditional Apulian bombette are then filled with pecorino or caciocavallo and seasoned with a little parsley. However, there are several variations spread across the territory of Puglia and other neighboring regions, recipes kept by every single butcher who claims his mastery by offering his own “house” bombette. Among the most popular are those without “filling”, simply seasoned with salt and pepper, or those wrapped with slices of bacon; other versions include the addition of cooked ham or minced meat to the cheese filling, up to the spicy ones.

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