As one of the most talked about reasons to go to Italy, getting the chance to try all the fresh and amazing foods of the Mediterranean is a great reason to choose Sardinia. Holidays to this lovely island will reveal a unique, traditional culture that extends to its cuisine. More and more travellers are choosing to base an Italian summer break in Sardinia. Holidays here can suit everyone and, although it may not be the first place on everyone’s list of destinations, it is fast becoming a favourite.
The history of the island dates back to the Mesolithic Period and, for history buffs, there is plenty to see and do. For those who like to get out and stay active, trekking in the mountainous interior is a unique way to experience the beauty and unexplored expanses of nature. Alternatively, you can laze about on the beaches or swim in the stunning azure waters. But one thing is certain when you are holidaying on this delightful island – you’ve simply got to try the local foods.
Although you may be tempted to dive right in to the sweets in Sardinia, holidays spent at a leisurely pace will give you plenty of time to sample some of the more traditional main meals. Some of the dishes you must try are the many varieties of pasta you can find, including Culurgiones. This is similar to ravioli, but are filled with a unique mix of potato and mint and served in a rich tomato sauce. There are also many versions of the local Sa Fregula pasta, which is a small round pasta that is cooked and served differently from town to town. One thing that can surprise first time visitors to Sardinia is the lack of seafood in the diet, despite being an island. This is due to the fact that the island experienced many invasions over its history, and consequently the people made their homes in the interior, away from the coasts. It means that the local delicacies run to things like wild boar, lamb and lots of other meat. Try the Cordula if you like the taste and texture of Scottish Haggis; you’ll need a strong stomach, though, as it consists of lamb intestines encased in a braided bowel, roasted and served with beans.
Cheeses and breads
Since the 1951 Stressa Convention, the Pecorino Romano and Fiore Sardo cheeses have been recognised as official unique products of Sardinia. Holidays to the island will give you ample opportunities to sample the huge variety of local cheeses, and you can enjoy a range of mild or unusually strong flavours. If you want to stay safe in your choices, go for the aforementioned cheeses or try the Pecorino Sardo. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, go for a Sardinian delicacy that cannot be found anywhere else: the maggot cheese. Maggot cheese is made from sheep’s milk, with live maggots introduced to it to help it ripen. These maggots break it down and give it a unique and strong flavour. Some people take out the maggots before eating it, some don’t; but you shouldn’t eat the cheese unless the maggots are still alive. There are a large number of varieties of breads unique to the island, including Carasau, a thin flatbread that has been around since around 1,0000 BC. Wafer thin and with a very long shelf life, it was originally used by the shepherds. For the more ornate breads, each region has its own style and on Easter, holidays, and even funerals, elaborate breads play a big role.