When you arrive in Sardinia, apart from the breathtakingly beautiful sea, you immediately sense that you are in an ancient land that loves to preserve this aspect despite being perfectly at ease in this modern era. As you drive along its roads (some of which are still not perfectly passable), the scent of myrtle and Mediterranean plants, typical of the region, comes through loud and clear.
Sardinia is not only sea and beaches, the culinary journey has very ancient and important origins.
Surely everyone (or almost everyone) knows about bread… now famous for both its appearance and taste.
They bear ‘original’ names that immediately bring to mind this magnificent region: Carasau is said to be a bread born before 1000 B.C., which, due to its toasting characteristic (carasau in fact), has a long shelf life and high energy content, which allowed Sardinian shepherds to use it during the long periods of transhumance. When preparing it, their wives would enrich it with goat or sheep’s cheese, essential elements of Sardinian cuisine.
When Carasau bread is seasoned with oil and salt, it becomes a delicacy called Guttiau, while when each individual sheet is immersed in boiling water and sprinkled with tomato and pecorino cheese, it becomes Frattau bread.
Sardinian cuisine is characterised by the variety that comes from the contamination from contacts and exchanges between different cultures that have inhabited the island.
In addition to a peasant and pastoral cuisine with dishes such as Malloreddus, durum wheat semolina pasta with saffron and sausage sauce, or Zuppa Gallurese, roast kid or the famous Porceddu , suckling pig cooked slowly on a spit, you can enjoy seafood dishes such as Fregula with clams, Burrida a sa Casteddaia made with sea dogfish, or a first course with Bottarga, dried mullet eggs.
Genuine food, with flavours as strong as the people of this land. There is certainly a big difference in Sardinian dishes depending on their geographical location, the vastness of the hinterland gives rise to a completely different cuisine from that born on the coast and near the sea.
But it is the desserts that everyone agrees on, “typical Sardinian”, a phrase that could never be more correct, they are neither for serving nor for spooning, their uniqueness is in fact that they are “tray desserts”. Known all over the world is the Seadas , a sort of big “ravioli” filled with cheese and stuffed with honey, or the Sospiri , small sweets made with almond paste, all washed down with the popular Myrtle liqueur, obtained from the alcoholic maceration of myrtle berries, consumed after meals it is an excellent digestive, but to enjoy it in the best way it should be drunk iced.
The bravest of us can try ‘File e ferro‘, a high-grade spirit that owes its particular name to the fact that during the prohibition period, artisanal production continued, but to escape controls, it was kept in glass bottles that were tied with wire and buried deep in the family gardens, so that they could be found by looking for the ‘file e ferru‘.
Cooking is a science in itself, it is up to the cook to make it an art. Gualtiero Marchesi
Cooking is not eating. It is much, much more. Cuisine is poetry. Heinz Beck