marmellata di cipolle di acquaviva

The Marmellata di Cipolle Rosse di Acquaviva, how delicious it tastes, how sweet!

I can say it might be as sweet as the big man I met in Acquaviva two years ago: Eustachio Sapone, a big, very tall guy, maybe he was a little scary… but no way, he is as sweet as the Marmellata di Cipolle Rosse di Acquaviva he produces in his bakery. His bakery has a very particular name: the Dolceria Sapone in Acquaviva delle Fonti. Here, Eustachio takes these small red onions with their sweet flavor, he adds few ingredients and creates wholeheartedly, in order to obtain a very fine jam which he introduced me to by serving it with some Pecorino piccante cheese, because such a strong-flavored cheese perfectly matches with the sweetness of the Cipolla Rossa di Acquaviva.

The story of the Cipolla Rossa di Acquaviva was formerly depicted in some books dating back to the 19th century. In the past it was a subject of trade in extra-regional markets out of Puglia, precisely because of its fine properties and distinctive sweetness. It must be said that unlike other products, even of the Slow Food Presidium, the Cipolla Rossa di Acquaviva can be grown and produced only around the town of Acquaviva delle Fonti (Bari province), where there’s a lot of fresh water spouting clear from a perpetual underground aquifer.

The Cipolla Rossa di Acquaviva is recognizable by its flattened shape and color: it is as wide as a hand’s breadth and weighs around 500 grams, its color is somewhere between carmine red and violet, gradually lightening towards the middle until it becomes completely white. As far as the Marmellata di Cipolle Rosse di Acquaviva, obviously it is red onions based, with the addition of some sugar, grapes and vinegar.

This is a discovery I made two years ago in the region I live, where one can think: “Ah, I know everything here!” But no, we can’t know everything about our homeland: this is the best part of my job, this is the beauty I want to share with you. New discoveries, starting from the finest ingredients of our land, ingredients as simple as a red onion can be.

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