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Interview by Alessandro Casagrande
Photography courtesy of Perbacco
Special thanks to Vito Puglia

Enoteca Osteria Perbacco was born in 1987 as a cultural association. It was the ninth club in Italy to join the emerging Agricola movement, mother of the International Slow Food movement. Founded by Vito Puglia, Perbacco is located in the Cilento area of Italy, Pisciotta, to be precise. Vito has created a welcome environment that authentically represents the local culture while enhancing local traditional recipes and products. Perbacco aims to be a place where ethical, territorial, sustainable and eco-conscious values guide the attention to materials, food, and wine. A large part of Perbacco’s success in producing high-quality cuisine is owed to its team of young, talented people (including Vito’s son) in collaboration with Chef Giuseppe Montuori.

In addition to Perbacco, in the same structure, is also born Santo Mercurio Country House. The name derives from the area overlooked by the property built by his ancestors in the late 1700s, surrounded by a millenary olive grove that slopes towards the sea of Marina di Pisciotta. The building was born as an oil mill and as a summer residence. Exposed to the South, it looks to Sicily, giving on beautiful days the view of the Aeolian Islands and in particular of Stromboli with its plume of vapors. The current recent architectural renovation has maintained the original industrial style of the building, preserving the ancient olive processing plant intact, embellished with artistic installations.

Vito Puglia is the architect of this recovery, joined the International Slow Food Movement, from the first months of its foundation, he was national and international manager for about twenty years, contributing to the associative and editorial development. Member of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity since its inception, he gave his contribution to giving life to the Agrifood Presidia project, taking particular care of the development of those in central and Southern Italy. A profound connoisseur of Agrifood and wine production for over thirty years, he held the position of head of the Technical Office for Food Quality at the Ministry of Agriculture for two years.

On recent holiday, Editor and Chief Alessandro Casagrande got this Baccalà recipe during his visit.

Perbacco! il Baccalà
(Recipe is for 4 people)

500 gr. slices of Baccalà fillet
200 gr. Tropea onion
80 gr. bruised Pisciottane olives in oil
40 gr. Cultivar Pisciottana extra virgin olive oil
10 gr. tomato powder
10 gr. sugar
Cilento saffron to taste
Borage flowers to taste
Wild fennel flowers to taste
White vinegar to taste
Salt to taste
Potato starch to taste
Pepper as needed

Prepare the saffron sauce with water, starch and saffron, add a pinch of salt. Cook the Tropea onion sheets with vinegar and sugar and set aside. Sear the Baccalà fillets with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of pepper in a non-stick pan.

Compose the dish with the Baccalà, alternating it with the onion sheets and garnish with the sauce, olives and edible flowers and plate.

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