Scapece of Gallipoli

Among the typical dishes of the Apulian tradition, today we offer you one of the most widespread in the main festivals held throughout the Salento area. We are talking about the scapece of Gallipoli, a true classic protagonist of Salento cuisine, with the scapecieri who get to work to prepare it.

This curious dish has particularly interesting origins, which once again testify to the richness of the history of this area. In Gallipoli, in fact, following the continuous invasion attempts by sea by adversaries located in the Mediterranean, the need arose to have spare food supplies available that could be distributed among people in the event of an attack by foreigners.

Gallipoli scapece
Gallipoli scapece

Original Scapece of Gallipoli recipe


  • 1 kg of small fish locally defined as “Pupiddi”
  • breadcrumbs
  • vinegar
  • saffron
  • extra virgin olive oil


To solve the conservation problem, we therefore thought of a preparation based on the most locally available raw material, i.e. fish, which after having been cooked through frying, could be enriched with a marinade based on crumbs of bread to which vinegar and also saffron were then added, proceeding with the preparation inside the so-called coves.

Here is how you should proceed to obtain a dish as similar as possible to the original:

  1. Clean the fish carefully and then worry about frying them in boiling oil.
  2. At this point, you can pass your fish in the breadcrumbs and also leave them to marinate in a solution composed of vinegar in which some saffron has also been dissolved.
  3. A popular variant of this preparation involves replacing the saffron with crushed garlic and mint.

The ideal pairing of this dish, on an oenological level, is certainly with Castel del Monte Bianco wine.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Difficulty: medium

Rustico leccese ©katrinshine via Canva
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