Sardinian bread and
cheese variety

On the "island of shepherds," bread and cheese have been considered staples for thousands of years due to their long shelf life. Even today, the many Sardinian bread and cheese varieties are very popular and come in many flavours.

Bread variations and cheese specialities

The most popular bread variations

There are well over 20 different variations in the preparation, shape and basic ingredients of Sardinian bread. In every landscape, in every village and often even in individual families, very special traditions are alive. For example, the dark and rather soft bread of the plains differs from the thin, hard bread of the mountain regions called the “pane karasau.” The latter can be kept for several months, allowing shepherds to take it with them on their tours.
The popular wafer-thin and crispy bread is also served in many restaurants. It is usually dipped in water to soften it. Italians affectionately call it “carta d’musica” – it’s as thin as music paper and it almost sounds like music when you take a bite!
Another tasty bread option is the “pane frattau”. The bread pane is a warm meal with boiling water poured over it and tomato sauce and egg beaten over it. The “pane noddizosu” from Orroli is also called the “bread of the centenarians.” Yeast is used for this, the origin of which is more than 300 years old.
Especially at major festivals such as Easter, the Sardinians express their high esteem for their staple food. The bread is made into decorative art forms, sometimes using special moulding, and even decorated with gold paper and ancient symbols! The origins of this custom go far back to pre-Christian times.

Sardinian cheese specialities

Today, cheese-making is still an important industry in Sardinia and is even produced for export. There is a strict purity law – only sheep’s milk and occasionally goat’s milk may be used. There is a wide range of cheese varieties, which vary from place to place.

The most popular varieties are the mild sheep’s cheese “dolce sardo” and its counterpart, “fiore sardo”, which is hard, sharp and spicy. The well-known “pecorino romano” is the most produced Sardinian cheese. It is made from sheep’s and goat’s milk and can be eaten fresh with bread for the first few months. When it hardens, it is often used as grated cheese.

The dish “zuppa gallurese” comes from the Gallura area in the east of the island. For this, several layers of pecorino, bread and fresh herbs are poured over meat broth and cooked in the oven until they are golden. A highly individual variant is the maggot cheese “casu marzu”, which is fermented by fly maggots. For health reasons, however, the cheese is banned in the EU, but a few dairy farmers in Sardinia still make it traditionally.

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