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The unknown Sardinia

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What is the best thing that can happen to you when travelling? For me, it is being embraced by locals, who wrap their arms around me, accept me like an old friend and show me the beauties of their land. Happened so on my last trip! I am endlessly thankful, having spent a wonderful and carefree week, I would say, I had a trip back to my roots. Appreciating the simple things in life, friendship, love, nature, a down to earth trip. We were invited to join the Aresu’s for different culinary and nature excursions. Firstly, an outstanding fish meal at a beach bar. Never ever would I have expected that the chef can do those miracles in his tiny shack kitchen! Absolutely amazing what he presented, freshest seafood and pasta…I just let the pictures speak for themselves

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After that, all we needed was a nap @ the beach. Somewhere between Villasimíus and Muravera. Not sure if I want to disclose the name. Ask me, if you plan to go, I might tell you:-)

Next day, we were invited to go to the mercato in Muravera and traditional Pollo Pranzo. The market is not huge, but offers all you need, summer clothes, flip flops, vegetables, fruit, dried meat, amazing honey and…the Pollo. Chicken from the roast, stuffed with Mirtó leaves. Wow, together with a bottle of Buio Buio and some salad we had a feast! So totally simple, but extremely tasty.

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We spent the afternoon at Feraxi Beach, we were almost alone, a good opportunity to launch our very own beach party, listening to good old Italian Canzoni, having a blast.

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Tuesday night was time for a Cena Sarda. Now, that meant, no food for at least 24hrs before, because what is served is more than enough to feed a whole army! Traditionally, it starts off with cold cuts and cheeses from the island. Sardinia is known for its different types of Pecorino (Goatcheese), from very young to very ripe we tasted them all….all? Nope, there is one which I was not keen to taste…a specialty containing little worms…actually, that one is not sold officially anylonger…but some families still produce it.

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Then followed two very typical sardinian pasta plates: Malloreddus alla Campidanese, with tomatoe-salsiccia sugo and Culurgiones, a pasta filled with a potatoe-mint mix, just butter and sage added-a dream, and full of tasty calories:-). Then came the masterpiece: a piglet, slowly bbq-ed for endless hours over open fire. Needless to say that we digged in and enjoyed it much! Was that it? Of course not, the meal ended with Pardulas, sweet Ravioli filled with Ricotta and topped with honey. Coffee and Mirtó made the entire meal complete. I thought, there’s no way I can move my body anywhere anymore…the next day was a fruit-only day, no way I could have eaten anything else, I was too full, but a very happy camper! On Thursday, Maya and Cesare invited us to explore Sardinias Hinterland, the very unknown parts of the island. We gladly accepted that invitation. Both had so many interesting stories and facts to tell. A lot reminded me of my parents, how they met, what their struggles were, running an own business and so on. We went to amazing places, visited Cesare’s village Seui, far up in the mountains, bought world’s best Amaretti right there. We saw a lot of wild animals, horses, wild pigs and many more. And, I took a branch of mountain oregano with me, hoping it will now grow on my balcony. Honestly, it doesn’t look good right now, but there’s always hope that it will recover and grow! And Cesare cut a whole bag of fresh wild rosemary for us. Believe it or not, but the wild one smells much more intense than what we grow in our gardens!

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On we went, along beautiful lakes until it was time for lunch. We visited a place which both knew. The guy there did not really expect any guests, but he started to do miracles as well. He loaded our table with delicious antipasti, cut his own ham for us, served his mother-in-laws home made Culurgiones, these were slightly sweet, still with a potatoe-mint filling, yummie. And then, he served us a rare “delicacy”: fermented goat milk in a goat craw. I tasted it but even for me as a cheese lover, that taste was too strong for me. But it looks funny, no doubt. imageimage

We continued on through endless hilly areas, rarely seeing other cars or people, we drove all the way to Arbatax where we stopped to admire young boys jumping from the famous Red Rocks. On we went along the coast, abundantely covered with vegetation, mainly vineyards, citrus fruits and vegetables. What a beautiful island this is. Not only the emerald colored water and white sandy beaches make Sardinia worth a visit. A deeper look into its inland and history is absolutely worthwile!

Other recommendations:

Boutique Hotel S’Arenada, Villasimíus. Alessandra treats you like a member of the family, beautiful rooms, nice balconies to enjoy the night sky, freshly baked sweet treats for breakfast! A gem! image

La Capanna al fresco dining Villasimíus, absolutely delicious and freshest raw seafood and an owner who knows what hospitality is all about:

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Arcada Wine&Restaurant Villasimíus, serving very nice seafood, fish and pasta.

Beach Life: Is Fradis Beach Club, a little bit like Miami Beach, beautiful beach, cozy Gazebos, great food

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Our wines: Terre Brune, Santadi. Buio Buio, Cantina Mesa.
Our drinks: Mirtó, Montenegro, Aperol Sprizz, Ichnusa Birra, Crodino

about Mirtó:

Mirto is a liqueur popular in Sardinia, Capraia Island and in Corsica, obtained from the myrtle plant through the alcoholic maceration of the berries or a compound of berries and leaves. Myrtle grows freely in Sardinia.

Mirto rosso (red) is made with the berries and is sweet.

Mirto bianco (white) is made from the leaves.