Small and round, tarallo is an Italian delicacy, traditional of the southern regions. Yellow like wheat and round like the sun of the lands where it is born, it is a symbol of conviviality. In Apulia, in fact, there is no aperitif without taralli accompanied by olives, vegetables in oil and a beer mug.
How was the term “tarallo” born?
The word tarallo indicates ring-shaped baked products, with twisted ends – like a knotted satin ribbon – and it appears to come from the Greek daratos (a kind of bread), but according to others it should derive from the Latin torrère (to toast).
Whatever the language it comes from, the tarallo was born salty, but nowadays there are also many sweet versions, prepared especially during special occasions such as Christmas and Easter.
One of the regions with an important tradition in taralli is Puglia: land of olive trees, crystalline sea and wheat expanses. As early as the Eighteenth Century, as Matilde Serao, a famous italian writer, tells in her books, taralli were considered an indispensable food for the survival of poor people. In fact, they were prepared by adding pepper and lard to bread sour dough leftovers and then making the rings, that were sold on the street for little money. In the Nineteenth Century almonds were added to taralli, which made them tastier, more precious and sought after for aperitifs.
From Apulia or Campania?
If it is difficult to decide where the tarallo was born, whether in Campania or Apulia, we can easily distinguish its taste.
The traditional Apulian tarallo is small and made only with flour, salt, white wine and extra virgin olive oil, while the tarallo from Campania is larger in size and contains lard, pepper and almonds.
It is said that the pillars of Apulian cuisine are three: wine, oil and wheat. Together they create the fourth, the tarallo, which in Apulia is part of daily life of children and adults. For an Apulian living in northern Italy or abroad, it is normal to regularly receive a parcel from the family containing typical delicacies, including taralli, that help to feel less homesick.
Not only food
The term tarallo has become a commonplace in the language and usage of those who live in the north of Italy and don’t eat it as often as in the southern regions. The Italian saying “Finire a tarallucci e vino” was in fact born in Naples to indicate the clearing up of a dispute through good drinking and eating.
To taste a very special tarallo (flat and without hole but with tipical Apulia ingredients) you can try the box Apulia Joy Appetizer and sun will come directly to your home.