Turquoise waters. Blue skies. And purple carrots.
Being one town of a kind, in Polignano a Mare everything is a bit more special.
After all, the orange would not match well with all the shades of blue – from Celestino to Indigo – that the wonderful sea of this town perched on the rocks gives us every day. Except for the rare grey days of rain.
And also thanks to this mild climate, refreshed by the sea breezes in summer and mitigated by the evaporation of the winter sea, that the carrot of Polignano flourishes rigorously purple.
So the next time you visit this enchanting small town of Puglia, do not go just for its wonderful sea, its whitewashed houses, its streets decorated with bougainvillaea and the poems dedicated to the steps, but also visit the hinterland. The fields overlooking the Adriatic are a lively and varied reality, not only for the olive groves: the territory is, in fact, rich in ancient farms, artesian wells and dry stone walls. And it is cultivated with the ancient farming methods of the past, rich of varieties of local vegetables, just like the typical purple carrot. The particularity of the colour is due to the fact that its seed is still selected by the farmers and therefore the vegetable does not have the stabilized orange colour of the seed of the industries. Here the farmers choose the best plants every year, place them in small separate plots and choose the seeds of the most prosperous ones. They are then replanted from the 15th of August to the 15th of September, regardless of the colour: so the carrots are of medium length – from 15 to 22 cm – with an infinite number of nuances.
Besides the colour, the extraordinary nature of this cultivation lies in the taste of these carrots, due to the particularity of being irrigated with salty water, through a system of pulleys, which draw from stone wells positioned up to 12 meters of dept, so as to be also powered by marine infiltration.
The result? In addition to having a bright colour, this carrot has also a better taste, enhanced by a pleasant sensation of freshness and sea flavour. It is, in fact, able to give a special touch of Puglia taste to every dish and to enrich the recipe book of the grandmas of a gem that, ironically, can only be found in this region. So if we have made you curious to taste the purple carrot, you just have to visit Puglia and Polignano a Mare.
It’s a dish to share. According to tradition, it must be served in a large cup in the centre of the table with a spoon to serve everyone.