Mediterranean Isles

Thursday, May 14, 2009

La Cucina Sarda - Sardinian Cuisine (Introduction)

Or we can just as easily say 'Enogastronomia', an abridged version of the term, [pertains to] wining and dining. Well, at least its only one word. In their language Italians are masters of such phrasings. Anyway, as we continue on our journey through the Mediterranean Island of Sardinia, we now embark on its culinary pathway. Sardinia is situated in an area that allows it to enjoy a mild yet, sunny disposition, to say the least. Noted epicurean commodities such as olive, artichokes, tomatoes, saffron, grapes and citris fruits, and the Sardinian specific myrtle berry, or mirto, flourish contently within the highest quality, vitamin and mineral rich soil, free of unnatural additives. Truly there is no comparison to the flavors produced in this area of the world - absolutely none. On the expanse greenery of the terrain graze happy herds of free range sheep and goat, who produce the tastiest of milk and cheeses, and the most tender premium quality fresh and cured meat (the one unhappy aspect of their existence).

In ancient days, Rome commissioned the golden wheat fields of the Capidano region of Sardinia, as its prinipal 'granario'. Flour produced from the nourishing grains creates among the most delicious bread in the world, both leaven and unleaven. You may have tried a really good ciabatta, but none can beat one made in an authentic 'pasticceria'. Among my favorite is the traditional 'pane carasau', the Sardinian ultra thin (ultra versatile) flat bread that continues to be baked in rustic wood burning oven just as it was well over 1000 years ago. Go Figure.

Then there are the sweets... Pardula are purely Sardinian, not even known to many a mainland Italian. It is a little honey sweetened cake baked with a ricotta cheese filling and just a hint of Amaretto - truly devine. While in the city of Cagliari, be sure to also try a scrumptious candelaus made of very thin slices of fruit and flower flavoured almond dough. Sardinia is well known for perfecting the confection called torrone. Yum, its is so delicious. Its a simple recipe honey, sugar, egg whites, with toasted almonds. Though the treat can be found in other Mediterranean and nearby European locations, the Sardinians know just how to turn the wrist just so. lol. Because of its climate, Sardinia's many varieties of grapes can easily boast of producing among the most sensually intriquing wines on the planet. Gorgeous reds include, Cananau, Monica and Malvasia. For a nice and neat aperativo, definitely try the transparent bubbly Vermentino. Always suberb. Well, that's it for today, but be sure there's more to come.

Have a lucky day,