Lampascioni (pampasciuni ‘n salentinu) are walnut-sized hyacinth bulbs (not onions as they are often erroneously described) with a distinct bitter taste. They are native to Puglia and are prepared in a myriad of ways. I ate them for the first time in Lecce and they were served in agrodolce (sweet and sour), a preparation that cuts the bitter flavor while softening the bulbs; they are also served baked, roasted, or fried. Last night at Il Frantoio near Ostuni I ate them fried (una novita’), then soaked in orange honey.

Lampascioni are a great example of a regional product that derives from a poor tradition. They grow almost exclusively in Puglia and were consumed by the poor who would forage for them in fields. The same holds true for many of the herbs and greens found in the cucina pugliese. Now, these local products are a much sought mark of authenticity in one of Italy’s premier food regions.

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Gastronomic Traditions · Puglia


  • This gives eating seasonally and locally a whole new meaning. Another reason for me to go back to Puglia.

  • Katie

    @JP we should return next spring to eat them in the traditional way-slow roasted with lamb.

  • Lampascioni are great! And just think that they’re hardly known even in Italy outside of Puglia!

  • Katie

    @fserra its true! if you ask for them in Rome, Naples, or anywhere else or that matter, people have no idea what you are talking about. i love that about regional cuisine in Italy!

  • Puglia’s version of Outback Steakhouse’s Bloomin’ Onion? Just kidding!

    PS–one should never look at this site at work BEFORE they have had lunch and cannot get away from their desk. I am sooooo hungry now!

  • Katie

    @Tom that is totally what they look like. I love awesome blossoms! dont judge me! :)

  • I live in Naples and I will have to look for these as hard as I can. The ancient Roman writer Apicio said that these were considered aphrodisiacs, particularly encouraged for young couples during marriage ceremonies.

    The picture makes it look so delicious!

    Saluti di Napoli!

  • It is true that most Italians, outside of Puglia and Basilicata, do not know of Lampascioni.

    I ate them at a hotel buffet in Gallipoli and they were great.

  • Lampascioni é conhecida pela minha família em várias gerações.A maior dificuldade é encontrá-la em natura.
    Se souberem aonde encontrar aqui no Brasil, agradeço.

  • Katie

    Desculpe eu não sei onde encontrá-lo no Brasil. é muito local de Puglia e nós nem sequer tê-los em Roma!

  • Our family called them “pampasciun” in dialect. It’s also a slang term for someone stupid or ineffective. I’m growing them in California (they do great here). Muscari comosum is the botanical name. you can sometimes find them in bulb catalogs.

  • Katie

    @Freddy B i’ve hear pampusciun and pampascuini, too. I think different parts of Puglia and Basilicata (maybe even calabria?) have different dialectic names for the same thing. how do you prepare them in your neck of the woods?

  • I would love to know where to buy in the USA Lampascioni Bulbs. I was introduced to what my father called, cippolini’s and although I hated them when I was a kid, I have grown to love them in adulthood. For several years I was able to order them from a market in the North End section of Boston but that source dried up more than 15 years ago. We are in southern Italy every year and no one there has heard of these things.

  • I have been searching for the lampasciioni (cippolini) for a few years. We use to be able to get them on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, NY. I was told that they can no longer be imported due to the fact that in Puglia they sprayed chemicals and are no longe allowed to import them to the US. My brother has been growing them for several years. I found out that it takes seven years to yield additional bulbs. We won’t be eating them any time soon.
    Should you ever find them I will buy them also.

  • I, too, have been searching for “cippolini” but have now discovered that they are called lampascioni. We used to get them on Burke Ave or Arthur Ave in the Bronx. During my search I noticed that Zingerman’s has them available in jars. I’m going to order them. I hope they are as good as my grandmother used to make.

  • I am longing for lampascioni – WHERE or WHERE can I get them in NEW YORK?

  • Katie

    i asked that question to twitter and someone suggested eataly though i doubt they would have them. i think you are better off checking at some farmers markets and if you can’t find them there, suggest the farmers start planting them. you never know!

  • i uaed to get them on Staten Island ny np more

  • My mother is from Torremaggiore Italy. I would love to buy some lampascioni for her. Where can I buy them on the east coast?

    Thank you!

  • Katie

    no idea, angela! sorry, i live in italy and have no idea where they are sold in the US

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