Discover the mouth-watering, traditional cuisine of Sardinia as we drive around the island in search of culinary perfection.
Last September, when I spent a week driving around Sardinia, one of the biggest joys of the journey, apart from the breath-taking mountain and coastal scenery, was discovering traditional Sardinian cuisine. I don’t think I have ever eaten so well!
Sardinian cuisine has ancient roots, when the inhabitants of the island mainly lived inland, away from the coast, relatively safe from possible invaders, growing crops and raising sheep and goats. Over time some communities moved to the coast and fish and seafood became incorporated into the traditional fare.
A traditional Sardinian Feast
The most important meal of the week on the island is without doubt on a Sunday, when families gather together for lunches of numerous courses, lasting a number of hours. I was lucky enough to try such a feast when I stayed at Agriturismo Tenuta Pilastru.
We arrived quite late, when it was already dark, so after checking in and the quickest of showers, we rushed over to the restaurant eager with anticipation. I had heard that we would be in for a real treat and warned not eat to much of the earlier courses leaving room for all that was to come. The restaurant itself was charming, with beamed ceilings and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. It was busy, not just with guests but with local families as well, all tucking into a typical Sardinian feast. Luckily they were expecting us and we were shown to our table.
The delicious wine of which a couple of bottles found their way into my suitcase, although I soon regretted not buying more.
The feasting begins
A bottle of the agritourismo’s own wine was already on the table, which was soon filled up by a basket of various breads, including carasu, a wafer thin light bread, cold meats, cheeses, a succulent lamb that melted in the mouth, stuffed mushrooms and more besides. I couldn’t believe how much food there was. I wanted to try everything and it was all so good.
And all this was just the starter!
The first course
Next came the first course a homemade pasta with wild boar sauce AND zuppa gaillureses,best described as what we Brits would call bread and butter pudding but this was a savoury version with cheese, and boy did I love it! In case your wondering, the zuppa (which means soup) in the name refers to the meat broth the bread has been soaked in before baking.
The main course
Yet more was to follow with the main course, including one of Sardinia’s most famous dishes, su porcheddu, suckling pig spit roasted on an open fire…
The desserts (plural!)
Lastly a collection of scrumptious desserts including the seriously delicious seadas, a light flaky pastry, stuffed with pecorino cheese and drenched in honey.
Fresh fruits, seadas, almond shortbread and meringues
And to help with your digestion...
Sardinian digestivo… limoncino, mirto and grapa
As the meal drew to an end each table was given three bottles of digestivo, which was delicious, particularly the limoncino, but we barely made a dent in them as there really was no room left even for this!
For more information on the cuisine of Sardinia, check out our guide.
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