What to eat in Cagliari: The best of Sardinian cuisine

20 June 2019

Sardinians strongly follow the mantra “Sardegna no est Italia”- Sardinia is not Italy! And while you can find the classic Italian pizza and pasta dishes, Sardina is genuinely a mouth-watering gastronomical heaven, with plenty of new plates to try. So, if you are booking a trip to the capital of Cagliari this summer, keep a sharp eye out for these tantalizing dishes!

Fried Fish in Mercato Di San Benedetto

Fried fish

One off the beaten track attraction you must head to if you consider yourself a dedicated foodie is Cagliari’s world- famous fish market. Hawkers sell their fresh catch from early dawn, though many of the locals head to the market for one thing- a cone of freshly fried fish. Visiting the market is a complete and intense experience; if you are passionate about excellent cuisine you are going to love every minute of it.  

The market is held at San Benedetto, one of the most fascinating and colourful places in Cagliari. It is considered to be one of the biggest fresh produce markets in Europe, and the varieties of fish you will come across is just mesmerizing!

Pane Carasau  

Pane Carasau

Bread in Sardinia is a truly serious affair. Pane Carasau is a traditional thin crunchy flatbread of Sardinia made from durum wheat flour, salt, yeast and water. Surprisingly the dish is of ancient origin, and these slices of bread can last up to one year if kept dry. The name originates from the Sardinian word “carasare,” meaning crust of the bread. The bread originates from the mountainous area of Barbagia and historically considered a typical meal for shepherds.

Culurgiones

Culurgiones

Culurgiones are a traditional pasta dish of Ogliastra, a province situated in Eastern Sardinia. These are small stuffed pockets around 2-4 inches in length and 1-2 inches in width. The dough is made from semolina flour, white flour, eggs, water and salt, giving a soft crust to the ravioli. You can typically find them stuffed with pecorino cheese, garlic, mint and nutmeg- though fillings vary from region to region.

Seada

Seada

Sardinia hasn’t forgotten perfecting dreamy sweet treats either, though technically the seada is not so sweet! The base of the dish, in fact, is made by puff pastry fried in lard and filled with hot cheese. The only “sweet” ingredient is what covers the seada: local honey. Sometimes, instead of honey, you may also find them topped with sugar. Be sure to put this dish on your bucket list, this is truly a dessert to die for!

This is just a brief taste of Sardinian cuisine, there’s plenty of fantastic local cheeses, and of course, heady wines such as Cannonau or should you fancy something lighter the irresistible Vermentino to devour! 

Book your flights to Cagliari now and get ready to indulge in a foodie journey like no other, after a refreshing dip in Sardinia’s beautiful beaches!

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