One of the most important parts of the classic Sardinian diet consists of whole-grain bread, beans, garden vegetables, wild salad, and fruits.
Sardinia boasts a wide range of mushrooms, both edible and poisonous, which are a good indicator for forest health. Valuable species like porcino and ovolo grow wild in the forests of chestnut, cork and oak.
The olive tree, in the same way as the wild olive, grows all across the island and is a fascinating and widespread feature of its landscape.
In the countryside round Cagliari there are three main areas of olive cultivation: the Parteolla, around Dolianova; Monte Linas around Gonnosfanadiga and Villacidro, and the Sulcis. The varieties most cultivated, are the Tonda di Cagliari, the Nera di Gonnos, the Nera di Villacidro and the Pitz’e Garroga. Excellent extra-virgin olive oils come from these varieties, with slightly fruity olive flavours and mild taste.
In northern Sardinia, the Sassari area sees the predominance of the Bosana variety. Here, the two main olive-growing areas are the Nurra, between the cities of Alghero and Sassari, and the territories of Ittiri, Sorso and Sennori, where major processing and marketing operations have also developed. The extra-virgin olive oil from these areas has the characteristic Bosana flavour: an intense, fruity note with grassy hints, fresh, slightly bitter, tangy and with notes of artichokes and cardoons.
The inner areas of the Barbagia, Baronia, Marghine and Planargia districts are also marked by the cultivation of the Bosana variety and to a lesser extent the by Nera di Oliena or Ogliastrina. The oils from these areas are fruity, with a bitter, tangy flavour and overall grassy notes.
The olive-growing areas round Oristano are concentrated along the coast (Cuglieri and Seneghe), home to an important national extra-virgin oil competition. The varieties grown in this area are mainly the Bosana and the Semidana. Sardinia-produced oils have reaped many major awards in national and international competitions, and have been praised by world-famous gourmets. Since 2006, the EU has protected the region’s oils with the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) label “Extra-Virgin Olive Oil from Sardinia” – DOP Olio extravergine di oliva di Sardegna.
Olive oil comes in Extra Virgin, olives a scabecciu (an ancient recipe prepared with ripe olives), olives in brine and squashed olives.
A plant eaten since ancient Egypt and renowned for its therapeutic qualities, artichokes are a firm favourite of the locals.
Carciofo Spinoso Valle del Coghinas – Santa Maria Coghinas