Sardinian cuisine offers a surprisingly diverse range of food choices for such a concentrated area. Given its geographical positioning, it’s no surprise that seafood is one of the main choices on just about every menu around, from squid and enormous prawns to sweet rock lobster and fresh sardines. There are also plenty of delicious meat dishes, from roast lamb, goat, rabbit, and of course, su porcheddu (suckling pig). And don’t forget the decadent cheeses and wines, sure to compliment any meal.
The cuisine prepared throughout Sardinia varies in terms of its influence. Many of the dishes served across the island are rich with local tradition and ancient specialties. It’s as if visitors have the chance to not only see the history of island, but also taste it as well. There is also a lot of old world Italian influence in many of the menu items, from perfectly seasoned pizza to al dente pasta dishes smothered with mouthwatering, fresh sauces. There are even influences of Greek, Spanish, and Arab cuisine to be explored.
There are many dining options for guests to choose from, from simple corner cafes to luxurious fine dining, and just about everything in between. Nearly every restaurant on the island offers at least a handful of local dishes, traditional plates which are prepared using recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. The flavors of the food you’ll try in Sardinia are almost as intriguing as the people who call this island paradise home, ranging anywhere from simple and natural, to bold and intense.
Many of the ingredients used in the local dishes include locally grown produce, as well as wine, olive oil, and fresh herbs found on the island, such as mint and myrtle. Sauces are typically tomato-based, but they are rarely seasoned with much more than a little bit of olive oil and local herbs. The local produce is simply so rich and tasty, there’s no need to embellish. One of the more popular spices found in Sardinia is saffron, or zafferano, known for its distinct ability to flatter almost any dish.
Each region of Sardinia features its own unique wine and food products. If you really want to experience the various areas of the island, the best way to do so is to sample the different flavors and food choices available at each location. It’s like a traveling tour for your taste buds! Another unique thing to experience are Agriturismi, or local farm-based restaurants. These restaurants take the term “fresh cooking” to the next level, and offer a truly genuine taste of Sardinian food and hospitality.
There are certain staples that you will notice as you try different cuisines throughout the island. These common ingredients and menu items include cheese, bread, and salami as well as spit roasted meat and olives. Aside from these staples providing a base for traditional, however, you will hardly find yourself eating the same thing over and over.
To learn more about Sardinia cuisine or explore travel options in the area visit Dolomite Mountains: Beyond the Dolomites.