I commuted to work in Andria by train from Barletta for a couple of days.
First impressions are that there’s not much to see and there’s not a lot happening. This town has great culinary significance for me though as this is the home of mozzarella burrata, one of my most favourite foodstuffs ever.
Burrata was invented by Lorenzo Bianchino in February 1956 at the farm Piana Padula farm near Castel del Monte, just a short distance from Andria.
He had the idea of injecting the waste from the mozzarella making process (cream and scraps of mozzarella known as ‘stracciatella’) back into the centre of the mozzarella ball. The little bags of creamy goodness caught on and the rest is cheesy history.
Apparently a shuttle bus runs from Andria station to Castel del Monte seven times a day should you want to go and see the famous castle.
On my second day I finished work early and rather than hightailing it back to Bari as most in my situation would, I asked the local teacher to drop me off in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, the main square in the centre of town.
I had wanted to eat at Il Turacciolo (4 Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, Tel. 388 199 8889, ilturacciolo.blogspot.com) but unfortunately it was closed at lunchtime.
However, another place on my hitlist, Confettiria Mucci at 30 Piazza Vittorio Emanuele www.confettimuccialberto.it, was open and I bought a large bar of high quality chocolate to take home.
Mucci is a traditional name in sweetmaking and there’s also a museum bearing their name around the corner, the Museo del Confetto, at 12 Via Gammarrota, www.museodelconfetto.it. If you telephone ahead on 0883 591871 you can book a short tour but I didn’t find that out until I got there. It’s also still a functioning sweetshop so I just contented myself with a few pictures instead.
You’ll find the cathedral nearby in Piazza Duomo. It’s very plain on the outside but a teacher told me the crypt is quite special, although I don’t know how you would get in to see it.
There’s some nice stonework on another side of the square. Please click on these pics to appreciate them fully.
I eventually had lunch at my second choice restaurant just a short walk away…
Locanda de la Poste (Advanced B), 49 Via Giovanni Bovio
A small modern place with a good rep, recommended in Gambero Rosso.
I had a good lunch here which began with some stringy ‘stracciatella’, the base ingredient for burrata, which was the main reason I’d stayed in town. I’d never eaten mozzarella this way before, it looked like Spaghetti Carbonara one second and tripe soup the next! It was very fresh, as it needs to be, and the flavour was fantastic (A+), much creamier than previous mozzarellas I’d tried.
The following three seafood based dishes were okay as well but not amazing (B/B+). They seemed more about form than flavour, and we were in a baking hot town a fair way from the sea.
I had a bottle of Bombino Bianco, from the local Castel del Monte DOP which was good if I remember correctly (B) and a glass or two of excellent Muscat de Trani dessert wine (A).
With a dessert the bill came to €60 which was reasonable for the amount I had but given the choice I don’t think I’d go back as the food could have been a bit better, the stracciatella excepted of course.
From here a nearly straight walk to the station down Via Settembre for the train back to Barletta.
Here’s my Google map to help you get around.
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