A food itinerary that will make you fall in love with the island. We bet you don't know at least 3 of these Sardinian specialties. Let's find them out
When you discover a new place, what is one of the best ways to experience it like the locals?
Eating, of course.
Part of the magic of a trip to Sardinia is getting lost in the scents and flavours that animate the historic centres and village festivals.
The Sardinian island, between sea and mountains, plains and woods, hunting and fishing, is particularly rich in beauty as it is generous at the dining table.
Fall in love with Sardinia, with this tasty itinerary designed just for you.
Ready to start the journey?
First stop: the black gold of Olbia
We have just started our journey. You have landed in Olbia and you are planning to have fun at the Figari Short Film Festival in nearby Golfo Aranci, but you have no idea what to taste first?
We found the best mussels in the Olbia area, which is today one of the largest producers in Italy and in the Mediterranean.
Thanks to the perfect climatic and environmental conditions of the Gulf, rich in plankton, the mussels of Olbia are an excellence of fish farming in Sardinia and have been a fundamental pillar of the economy of the Gallura city for over a century.
If you missed the Mussel Festival in honour of Saint Simplicio, don't despair! The delicious mussels will last on sardinian tables all summer and beyond.
Also recommended raw, mussels in Olbia can be tasted in many variations, one more delicious than the other, but certainly worthy of note is the mussel soup with tomato broth, with that nice spicy touch.
Now that you have fully tasted the intense flavor of this dish, we can leave Olbia and take the street again.
Second Stop: Luras, for the dish you don't expect
Our journey through Sardinian gastronomy continues with Luras. With the Domos Abbeltas, from 17 to 19 June, this village of Alta Gallura famous for its dolmens and millenary olive trees, dresses up for a party. If you think it's crazy to enjoy a nice meat and melted cheese broth, with these current record temperatures, wait until you get to know the lurese soup!
This is the kind of dish that you cannot find easily in tourist restaurants, because it is prepared with love and wisdom, handed down through generations of Sardinian agro-pastoral tradition.
A simple dish of poor cuisine, zero waste and with a strong flavour.
It starts with stale sliced bread, laid in layers (a bit like lasagna) in a rich meat broth and interspersed with lots of cheese, salt and pepper. Except that the soup is enriched with hand-chopped parsley and mint.
Rich and fragrant, delightful with its appetising broth, let it cool and tell us if it's not the most delicious thing you never imagined to try in summer.
Third Stop: Ozieri, time for a sweet break
At this point in the journey, you may be craving a sweet... Take a break and stop for a coffee in Ozieri. The town gave birth to the very famous suspiros (sighs), the sugary balls of almond paste and honey, which with their colored papers cannot miss among the sweets of the holidays all over the island.
Almonds are a absolut cult in the confectionery preparations of this town of Logudoro, but the most requested, both by tourists and by locals, are the sublime copuletas!A soft sweet based on sponge cake and almond flour, with a smooth sugar coating that makes it look like a pretty lace.
They are so renowned that even the spouses send them as a gift to in-laws, parents and wedding witnesses at the end of the wedding ceremony.
Therefore, if you pass by here remember to reserve a tray, they are selling like hot cakes.
The sweet break is over, let's start again!
Fourth stop: Castelsardo, the medieval village of fish delicacies
It is almost evening and before dinner we stop in Castelsardo.
Perched on a promontory overlooking the splendid Gulf of Asinara, Castelsardo offers a special view and an ideal nocturn panorama for a romantic dinner.
The perfect occasion to book Sa Cassola, the characteristic castellanese-style fish soup, a true delight.
To a mince of onion, garlic, parsley and chilli, you add shrimp, mussels, clams and chunks of the catch of the day, from the largest to the smallest fish. The smaller fish end up melting in the hot broth, giving the soup that unique richness and sea aroma.
The broth is left abundant, to be enjoyed with toasted garlic bread.
Absolutely to try by candlelight, accompanied by a good chilled Vermentino.
Fifth stop: Sennori and the snack that smells like summer
Our next stop is a charming hill town overlooking the sea. If you pass by Sennori, perhaps on the occasion of the Cavart Festival on June 19th, give Su Fossu a try: the snack that for a sennorese smells like childhood, summer and grandmother's houses.
It is a very simple dish, starring pane tundu (round loaf), the typical bread of Romangia, tall and crusty, whose top is cut. It is then emptied to make room for a filling of fresh cherry tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil, the renowned locally produced of course.
Also known as Lu Cuggoni in the nearby Sorso, you can make it even more delicious by enriching the filling with grated garlic, basil and anchovies.
Delicious, fresh, perfect for summertime.
Sixth stop: Sassari, finger-licking feasts
The Ciogghitta d'Oro Festival brings back one of the most long awaited and folkloric moments of the city: the collective tasting of the much loved gastropods. Ciogghitta means snail, the “Golden Snail competition”, where the fastest snail-eater wins.
Collecting and cooking snails is a convivial moment in the Sassari tradition. For the lovers of succiadura (snail sucking), the snails with their garlic and parsley sauce are an absolute delicacy.
Do not forget, however, the baked aubergines, a specialty that is even the protagonist of a popular song of the city. Also flavoured with garlic and parsley, this popular seasonal vegetable forms a winning combination with ciogghitta.
Seventh stop: Alghero and the queen of crustaceans
Who says Alghero says lobster, and what better season than this to taste the delicious crustacean?
In the town of Catalan extraction, famous for its coral and for the great variety of naturalistic beauties, there is no shortage of nightlife and great events, from Jazz Alguer to the Festival Mediterraneo, up to the appointments of Naturalmente in Riviera.
But don't forget about the good food!
The lobster here is the queen of the table, in its version known precisely as catalan style.
You start the day before by putting some finely chopped onions in water, to sweeten them.
The crustacean is instead boiled in water with the aromas.
Separately, prepare a dressing of cherry tomatoes and excellent extra virgin olive oil from the area, emulsified with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Finally, add the onions without the resting water, and at last the lobster, shredded into coarse pieces.
All left to rest for up to half a day; served fresh, not cold, it is a rare delight and to be savoured with dedication. Not to be missed before hopping to the plane and saying goodbye to the island.
If you are still not satisfied and want to know (and taste) even more, consult the complete Salude&Trigu program: events and traditions from all over Northern Sardinia.
A thousand other dishes await you, a thousand other parties ...and a sea of wine.