Sardinia Cuisine: A Culinary Melting Pot

Jul 24, 2019 346

BY: Silvia Donati

Geographically isolated from the mainland, Italy, yet at the center of Mediterranean trade routes since ancient times, the island of Sardinia boasts a rich culinary tradition, influenced and enriched through the centuries by populations of traders and invaders: the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, Genoese, Catalans, Pisans, Spanish and Piedmontese, all left their mark, not just in the architecture and local dialects, but also in the great variety of dishes, which may differ even from one town to the next, but fundamentally all share genuineness (like Sardinians themselves).

Take pecorino, for example. Almost three million sheep are bred in Sardinia – which explains why this cheese is ubiquitous in the region’s cuisine. If you ask a local where to get the best pecorino, they will likely respond, “from my brother,” or “my father,” or “my friend;” everybody knows at least a pastore (shepherd), because the lifestyle in Sardinia is still essentially agropastoral, and the most typical products of its cuisine – cheeses and meats - come from its hilly and mountainous interior, where they are still produced following tradition.

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