Eat my puccia (in Austin, Texas) cc @PaoloCantele

Above: The art of the puccia lies in the creativity and freedom of ingredients that you use to dress it. At the puccia truck in Austin, they make a pastrami puccia! I love it!

The word puccia first became part of my gastronomic lexicon when my good friend (and client) Paolo Cantele took me to one of his favorite puccia shops in Lecce (Puglia, Italy).

The puccia is a savory flatbread indigenous to Puglia: it is griddle-fired and then stuffed with a wide variety of toppings — often clashing flavors. When I questioned Paolo’s wisdom off requesting a puccia stuffed with prosciutto and tuna, he didn’t miss a beat in responding “that’s the whole point of the puccia!”

You can imagine my delight when I discovered that Austin — the capital of trailer dining and food trucks in the U.S. — has its own puccia pimp, an Apulian dude named “Lucky” Luciano who runs a puccia truck downtown across from the Whole Foods Market on Lamar on 5th St.

But the coolest thing about Lucky’s puccia is that he embraces American foods in the toppings he uses, like the pastrami puccia above. And of course, all things being equal, in Austin you can pair Lucky’s puccia with Texas beer.

Here’s the Yelp and here’s the Facebook.


Buon weekend, yall! :)

Early report from Puglia: my first puccia! But not my last…

Landed safely in Bari today from Munich together with the German women’s national basketball team (I was one of the shortest people on the plane). Paolo generously came to pick me up and we headed down to downtown Lecce where we stopped for a puccia, the classic and ubiquitous stuffed flatbread of Puglia, one of its “fast foods.”

I wasn’t as ambitious as Paolo in the stuffings I selected (prosciutto, cheese, mushrooms, and arugula). He had his with tuna, prosciutto (yes, tuna and prosciutto!), and insalata russa (vegetable and mayonnaise salad). When I asked him about the unusual combination of salt-cured pork and olive oil-cured tuna, he said, “that’s the whole point of the puccia! You have to mix everything in the puccia!”

The quality of the bread here — even at an urban “fast food” joint like this one — just blows me away.

I wish I had been more ambitious in my fillings… but I know this first puccia won’t be my last!