Sardinia dining can be a wonderful experience for anyone visiting this enchanting island in the Mediterranean Sea. Much of the food in Sardinia that people enjoy everyday is either raised or grown on the island or taken from the sea. Many of the most popular and frequently served dishes on the island invoke the flavor palette of such things as fresh fish and shell fish, indigenous fruits and vegetables grown in the nearly perfect Mediterranean climate, and a marvelous array of herbs from the inner mountains. There is also a range of uniquely prepared dishes and specialty items, like Bottarga, that make Sardinia dining an even more deliciously distinctive experience.
Bottarga, the dried and cured roe pouch of fish such as tuna and swordfish, is definitely a favorite delicacy on the island. Many of the restaurants in Sardinia keep this local favorite on the menu knowing quite well that tourists visiting the island will likely want to try it. Bottarga has been referred to as “poor man’s caviar.” Bottarga is essentially fully ripened internal ovaries or egg masses of fish. It is hand massaged to remove any air pockets and then dried and cured in sea salt for a few weeks. After this process the Bottarga is covered in beeswax for preserving. In Sardinia and other parts of Italy it is most commonly grated or thinly sliced and used in a number of pasta dishes. It is also served with lemon juice and flat bread as an appetizer. The care that goes into the process makes Bottarga an enviable (and somewhat expensive) delicacy in Sardinia. It is, however, a dish that is well worth trying.
Naples, Rome, and other metropolitan areas on the Italian mainland are not the only places where one can enjoy top-notch Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. Sardinian cities such as Alghero and the capital city of Cagliari serve up fantastic cuisine at a variety of restaurants to suit the burgeoning tourism population that descends upon the island in greater numbers each and every year. Restaurants in Cagliari serve everything from traditional Italian dishes to island specialties to American fare. As it is a tourist destination you will find a bit of everything. For the more discerning traveler, though, Sardinia dining provides an opportunity to enjoy an assortment of distinctive dishes unique to the island of Sardinia. There are a variety of restaurants in Cagliari that cater to the tourist population with a variety of dishes. You will not have to go far to find ones that offer the best of Sardinian food only.
The Agriturismo (or farm) restaurants serve set menus of the most popular Sardinian dishes. Pane Carasatu is a favorite starter that involves very thin flat bread, olive oil, and rosemary. Sardo ham, Genoa salami, and pecorino cheese find their ways into many classic Sardinian dishes. Homemade pasta is abundant on the island and enriches any dish like the popular spinach and cheese stuffed raviolis served on the island. Another favorite dish in Sardinia is called Porcheddu that involves a roasted suckling pig with garlic and rosemary potatoes. If you have an affinity for sweets be sure to try to the seadas (or traditional pancakes) served with orange honey.
And no Sardinia dining experience would be complete without a glass of wine or Limoncello, which is popular amongst islanders. Whether it is a glass of wine from Tuscany or one of the other wine regions on mainland Italy, or a glass derived from indigenous grapes, it is sure to be enjoyable. If you are planning a vacation to Sardinia you will be pleasantly greeted with a medley of dining options. Visit one of the restaurants in Cagliari for a one-of-a-kind dining experience complete with wonderful food, wine, and if you pick the right location, amazing views of the Mediterranean in the distance.