The Region of Sardinia
Sardinia, or in Italian Sardegna, an island and regione (region) of Italy, is second in size to Sicily among the western Mediterranean islands. If you wonder where Sardegna is, it lies 124 miles west of mainland Italy and 8 miles south of the nearby French island of Corsica, and 124 miles north of Africa’s coast. Its capital is Cagliari. Sardegna covers an area of 24 090 square km with a population of 1,658 138 (according to 2015 estimates).
Food from Sardegna
If you travel to Sardegna, please try the cuisine of Sardinia – traditional cuisine of the people of the island of Sardinia and expressions of its cooking talent. The Sardegna foods are characterized by their own variety, enriched through their interaction with other Mediterranean cultures.
Sardinia’s food culture is primarily divided into food from the land and food from the sea. If you are a fan of the Mediterranean diet, then you’ll enjoy Sardegnian foods as they are regarded as Mediterranean. You’ll learn more about specific dishes in the next section. Read on to be enlightened.
Sardinian cuisine is a key element of Sardinian tourism. People travel from other regions to have a taste of the incredible meals prepared by the Sardinian people. While in Sardegna, here are ten dishes you must have:
Pardulas (small pies)
Even though you can enjoy them at any time of the day, the pardulas are ideal for breakfast. They are small pies filled with a mix of ricotta, saffron, and lemon and bound using a thin collar of crunchy puff pastry. They were initially an Easter dessert, but nowadays, they’re found in local bakeries throughout the year. There is also another variation known as casadinas that is made with young pecorino in the place of ricotta.
Fregula (Sardinian pasta)
Fregula is a special variety of Sardinian pasta. It is similar to couscous and is customarily made by hand using a unique sieve called a scivedda. The special sieve divides the dough into small pellets. The preparation process is similar to that of risotto. On many occasions, you’ll find it heaped with a little flavor of Sardinian clams and a sprinkle of bottarga to finish. You can pair the fregula with a glass of nuragus or Vermentino.
Sardinia has been cooking snails for a long time. The practice is widespread in the North area around the third-largest city of Sassari. The countryside inspires the cuisine. In this northern area, you’ll find snails prepared in different ways. The most common preparation method is simmering with a spicy tomato sauce. You’ll also find some sautéed with oil, garlic, parsley, and breadcrumbs.
Bottagra is a popular Mediterranean dish, and Sardinia is no exception. It is prepared using dried mullet fish roe. You can grate it over pasta, asparagus, or raw artichokes. Some people serve it on its own by slicing it into big chunks and sprinkling extra virgin olive oil. Throughout the island, you’ll find most people eating spaghetti with grated bottagra.
The popularity of Lobster stew in Sardinia is an indication of the Catalonian influence on the island. The lobster is also a classic in Spain. In Sardinia, they keep it simple. Female lobsters with their red roe are steamed quickly and served with tomato sauce and onions. They are then sprinkled with olive oil, lemon, and black pepper.
If you don’t know what to order for dessert, consider a giant, deep-fried semolina dumpling full of fresh sour pecorino romano and lemon zest. In Sardegnaian history, it is served with bitter Miele amaro (also called corbezzolo or arbutus’ honey).
Malloreddus alla campidanese
This delicacy has its roots in the south and central parts of the island. A Sardegna map will help you identify these parts. It is made with durum wheat semolina flour, water, salt, and a pinch of saffron. Sometimes, it is referred to as Sardinian gnocchi because of its shape. Malloreddus typically comes in a slow-cooked ragu of pork sausages, tomatoes, and a heap of grated pecorino sardo.
Porcetto arrosto (Roasted suckling pig)
Sardinian cuisine has several dishes inspired by the island’s pastoral traditions. Shepherds roasted a small suckling pig in an earthen pit filled with aromatics like rosemary in the past. Nowadays, it is more popular to prepare the pig spit-roasted for almost seven hours to soften the meat and make the skin crunchy. Once it is roasted, cover it with myrtle leaves and serve while still slightly warm.
Suppa Cuata (Gallurese soup)
Stale bread is an essential ingredient for this Sardinian dish. However, despite its name, it looks more like lasagna than soup. To prepare suppa cuata, layer slices of stale bread with lamb broth and fresh cow’s milk cheese known as casizolu is added and finished with grated pecorino.
Gattuccio is the main ingredient in burrida. The gattuccio is a small variety of catfish which was historically considered a low-cost scrap fish. To prepare this humble peasant dish, marinate the fish in a vinegar-based sauce. Then, cook with finely chopped walnuts and the fish’s liver. The burrida is mainly served as an appetizer in Cagliari.
Sardinian history makes it an exciting place to visit. Moreover, rich history has also contributed to its unique dishes. When you visit Sardegna, Italy, you’ll enjoy a variety of top-quality dishes.
If you are a fan of the Mediterranean diet, then you’ll be pleased to know Sardinian cuisine falls under this category. After reading this article, you now know where Sardegna is, and you have an introduction to the dishes.
Finally, you’ve learned about the ten best dishes from Sardinia you should try. You can choose seafood or land-based dishes from the mountains.