I tried four new foods when we were in Lecce for break. I tried tongue, sea-urchins, tripe, and swordfish. The tongue actually tasted very similar to beef except that you could feel the taste buds. Sea-urchins by themselves were much worse than I had expected but they were alright with the pasta. Tripe was very in-between, it wasn’t good but I managed to swallow. The swordfish was very nice, instead of having a steak like you would normally eat it, it was sliced thin, smoked, and covered in lemon juice.
In the south of Italy they do appetizers a little differently. Instead of ordering a plate of meats and cheeses they will bring out a sample of a bunch of different foods that they have made that day.
On New Year’s Eve we returned to La Pocina where we had a multi-course meal which included the swordfish and the lentils with sausage (Lenticchie con Cotechino) shown below. You are supposed to eat the lentils at midnight as part of the Italian tradition for good luck.
Although I’ve had plenty of shrimp before, at Il Giardino Segreto in Gallipoli I had the best shrimp of my life.
It came fresh from the market which I mentioned earlier.