Slow food Brisbane event:

A taste of Puglia: Pugliese Antipasto menu

Pane focaccia di Bari (Ian mcBride)

(Focaccia – bread of Bari)

Formaggio caciocavallo

Olive- Verde e nere

Irma’s frittata di patate e spinaci

(frittata of potato and spinach recipe of Irma given to Mary-Anne Fraser)

Polpette di Melanzane di Lucera (given to Noelene by Luisa Caprio, Lucera, Puglia)

Red Wine: Primitivo di Salento


Thank you to Slow food Brisbane members and friends, and the Dante Alighieri Society for your wonderful support at our recent Slow Food Brisbane event held in the rooms of Dante Alighieri Society, New farm Brisbane. The connection between Italy and Slow Food is strong so this talk “A Taste of Puglia” was extremely well supported with over 50 people attending and it was a resounding success. No slow food event would be complete without the convivial pleasure of eating delicious food washed down with a carefully selected wine. What a way to experience taste education! We savoured morsels inspired by Puglia. The full menu (with some recipes) is on the web site Check it out!


The talks about Slow Puglia were fascinating and through Ian McBride we had the opportunity to expand our knowledge of Slow Food’s “ark of taste” and “presidia” (projects) where typical, traditional and artisanal foods such as the Alta Mura Breads of Puglia have been preserved for future generations. Bruce White showcased a Pugliese Slow Wine producer Giancarlo Ceci ( and for those heading to Puglia, he highly recommended several slow restaurants suggesting that “Antichi Sapori” ( ) near Andria and Perbacco ( near Bari were stand outs. The wonderful book published by Slow Food Italy called “Osteria d’italia” offers a slow restaurant guide to the 21 regions of Italy. The following web site is in Italian but offers a sample of the possibilities:

Slow Regards, Noelene McBride, Leader, Slow Food Brisbane inc.

Louise Thomas (Slow Food Brisbane member) wrote about the Pugliese evening:

Who would have thought a Friday evening presentation on bread and wine from a small region of Italy could attract a crowd?? But attract a crowd we certainly did for the Slow Food Brisbane Inc April event focused on the unique bread and wine of Puglia!

A steady flow of food and wine enthusiasts made their way upstairs to the Dante Alighieri rooms. A warm greeting and invitation to partake of a platter of delicious antipasto (prepared by the culinary genius of Mary- Anne and Noelene) brought a smile from even the most ‘work weary’ / traffic hassled guests. A glass of wine from the region was also on offer as we settled into our seats and prepared for the presentations to come.

Minor ‘AV troubles’ could not dampen our enthusiasm and our hosts took the opportunity this provided to give an impromptu interactive Italian lesson to the audience. Thank you to the Dante for sharing your wonderful facilities and your love of all things Italian!

Thereafter, we were entertained, educated and held in awe by Ian McBride’s slideshow and talk on the history and current practices of bread making in Puglia. Ian’s knowledge of and passion for the topic was evident to all. Ian’s skills as a baker were also on display in the form of bread he had baked that day. This session was followed by an equally passionate presentation from Bruce White, whose respect for and appreciation of the local wine producers and restaurateurs underpinned the overview he provided on some unique attractions of the area, with particular emphasis on the wines of Puglia. Ian and Bruce both emphasized, through their presentations, a key element of the slow food movement – the respect for and acknowledgement of local sources of our food.

Yet again, this slow food event gave us all an opportunity to reflect on the responsibility we need to have for our food and its sources, while enjoying the pleasures of taste we can experience through both food and wine.

Thank you to Noelene, Mary-Anne, Ian, Bruce and all the extra helpers on the night.





Recipe: Polpette di Melanzane


Eggplant balls:


Egg plants (2) 800 grm

Breadcrumbs 120 g

Parmesan grated 120 g

2 eggs

I clove of garlic

Black pepper (to taste)

Fine salt (to tatse)

Parsley -a small bunch, chopped finely.

Preset oven to 200



Bake eggplants in oven (on oven paper) 200 for about 1 hour.

Take out and let cool a bit

From the green end, peel and discard skin

Put pulp into a colander over a bowl and push down with a fork to drain off liquid

Take drained pulp and mash adding in eggs, then crushed garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper.

Mix and if still very moist add in some of the breadcrumbs and then chopped parsley.

Form any size balls you want, roll in the remaining breadcrunbs

Set aside or in the refridge for a bit to become firm (say 10 minutes-1 hour)

Put in oven preheated to 200, drizzle with oil or spray with EVOO and cook for about 15-20 mins, turning at 10 minutes or as you like until browned.

You can fry them in oil as well. 170 degrees for 2-3 minutes. Drain.

If you want you can make or buy a good quality passata, add in basil, oil and salt

Also you can make ahead, but do not cook until ready to use. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for a day.











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