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Typical desserts

The Apulian like to go to the bar especially in the morning for breakfast and afternoon coffee. In fact, they love having croissant or pasticciotto (pastry filled with custard cream) for breakfast with a cappuccino or espressino and meet up for a coffee in the afternoon, which, in summer, they prefer to take on ice with almond milk. Other great Salento specialities to taste are the calzone (closed pizza) and the rustico from Lecce (a little "sandwich" of béchamel sauce, chopped tomatoes and mozzarella cheese enclosed by two circles of puff pastry), and for dessert the bocca di dama (small sponge cake with cream and sugar icing) and home-made ice cream.

Salento's desserts are real masterpieces and very often linked to religious worship, such as the lamb in almond paste and the cuddhura (a crown of sweet bread) for Easter; carteddhate (rose shaped fried cakes) and purceddhruzzi (small cubes of fried sweet dough covered with honey) at Christmas; donuts in honour of San Giuseppe; and also, taralli (crackers) with sugar, dried fig with almonds, copeta (almond brittle), mostaccioli (a sponge cake base with cocoa powder, candied citrus, almond paste, and chopped almonds inside), spumoni (moulded Italian ice cream with layers of different flavours), cotognata (sweet made with quince).

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