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For a few years now, the farmers of Salento in Apulia have been happily handing over their vegetables to the Muscella brothers, founders of the preserve-making company, Sapori del Salento (Tastes of Salento), in recognition of the contribution they have made to the productivity of this little known region, rich in natural resources.
The lampascioni, shallot-like bulbs of the wild hyacinth plant, which grow profusely all over Apulia, are one of the most prized delicacies of this region. They can taste overbearingly bitter, but the lampascioni by Sapori del Salento are an exception: crunchy, savoury, smooth and rounded, with an exceptionally fine aftertaste of almonds. Hand picked as soon as fully ripe, they are immediately peeled and cleaned, chargrilled, and put in jars with olive oil.
Delicious as a starter, they are also an ideal accompaniment, served warm, to meat and steamed fish.
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