What I Ate in Sardinia
The island of Sardinia (just a 50-minute plane ride away from Malta), has a distinctive cuisine: Italian, yes, but it soon becomes evident that it’s also influenced by the invaders who came and went – pretty much like Malta.
The Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs and Spanish all have left their marks on the food of Sardinia, the second-largest Mediterranean island after Sicily. In fact, if you’ve been to Sicily, you’ll find that Sardinia is a larger version of the latter in so many ways. And you’ll often hear the joke among locals that there are more sheep than humans in Sardegna, more than 3 million sheep – two for every human!
As you travel along the island, you’ll find that cuisine is distinctive in each region. However, Pecorino cheese is produced everywhere and fresh ricotta is mostly made from whey.
The Sardinians take the art of ravioli to another level. You’d think you won’t be “wowed” by a humble plate of ravioli, you’d be wrong.
Taking from African influences, Sardinian breads come in all shapes and sizes. In fact the island boasts more than 400 types of breads, with the most typical being pane carasau, a salty, thin, crisp flatbread. Originally designed for shepherds to take with them on their day’s work, it can last up to a year. For creativity’s sake, I later discovered that this reappeared as a dinner dish after it was soaked in stock and spread with tomato sauce, grated pecorino cheese and topped with an egg.
Naturally, most restaurants boast impressive displays of seafood, with the most popular being the classic mullet served with a side of caponata.
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I did not get to try many desserts during my vacation on Sardinia, but during an agriturismo dinner we were served these delicious fried ravioli with the most amazing honey & lemon dressing that was just divine. Can’t wait to try them at home!