/Il Rustico, The Leccese Hot Pocket

Il Rustico, The Leccese Hot Pocket


Rusticoadj: Rustic; rural; of or relating to the country. noun: a baked savory snack made from puff pastry stuffed with bechamel, bits of mozzarella, black pepper, and a hint of tomato; the quintessential snack in southern Puglia.

In Lecce and Salento, the rustico is to savory treats what the puccia is to bread and pasticcio to is to pastries. This flakey, heavy disk is prepared in bakeries or sold at bars and caffes where it is eaten as a mid-morning, late afternoon, or late night snack. On my first trip to Lecce, I ate one at each of these snack intervals and, while not recommended by doctors, this approach is satisfying. My first stop in Lecce is always at Alvino in Piazza Sant’Oronzo for a quick rustico, eaten standing up at the bar to burn an extra 5 calories while I devour the dense, rich leccese hot pocket.

2016-01-07T03:38:42+00:00 June 1st, 2010|Categories: Food & Wine, Gastronomic Traditions, Puglia|9 Comments


  1. Jeff June 1, 2010 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    How do you know so much about Lecce? It’s getting too famous down here! I was on the plane coming back to Brindisi and people on both sides of me (on the plan over the Atlantic) were going to Lecce! Uffa…

    • Katie June 2, 2010 at 1:41 am - Reply

      ive been going to puglia for a looong time. people should go to lecce. it’s time the south get some props! i think it is a long way from being a major tourist destination for americans so you can relax:)

  2. steve kornblit June 2, 2010 at 3:41 am - Reply

    Looks delicious…keep them coming!

  3. Lucinda Keller June 2, 2010 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Although I think I need to come! I promise I won’t bring anyone! 😉
    That looks delicious!

  4. shayma June 2, 2010 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    i regret not going to lecce, i have a friend there (blogger “friend”) who has a gorgeous bed and breakfast. what a beautiful photo- it’s making me want to go to lecce! this is the sort of food i absolutely adore, pastry- savoury pastry not like those gross cornish “pasties” in the UK. blech. what other plans do you have for that area, katie? x shayma

  5. Mamma Parla June 3, 2010 at 1:07 am - Reply

    Rustico is heavenly! I have had some of the best food the south of Italy has to offer IN PUGLIA! Tonight I will be dreaming about cozze ripiene, pizzi, pesce crudo….sweet dreams!

  6. Sherry June 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    Someone recently told me to go to lecce and since we are in Naples its not that far for us. Shayma i want to know the name of your friends bed and breakfast is has to be cheaper than the hotels there unless kate can reccomend where to stay there i already know where to eat 🙂

  7. Repubblica Salentina June 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Very happy to know all the nice things you’re writing about our lovely area! Katie you really caught the best out of the “rustico”!
    If you want to know more about Lecce and the Salento area (the “heal” of the Italian “boot”), this could be a good start: http://www.discoversalento.org
    Hope to see all of you here soon!

  8. Lora Hay (Guerrieri) August 15, 2013 at 1:53 am - Reply

    One of my favorite “snacks” when we visit. I rustici, la puccia, e le mozzarella! …. All make my mouth water. Can’t wait to go back.

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