Near Otranto, in the Valle dell’Idro and around the Laghi Alimini, a variety of chicory called Cicoria Otrantina is cultivated. Here, it grows in the sandy terrains where a rich superficial groundwater flows into “pozzelle” (low cisterns excavated by hand).

This chicory is characterised by a delicate flavour and a lack of bitter taste, which is instead characteristic of other chicory varieties. It has excellent depurative properties and is both ideal for tasty light dishes and suitable to be eaten raw by itself or in a salad. You definitely should try baked cicoria otrantina with olives.