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►La cucina di casa, i nostri sapori/

Sardinian home cooking

Cucina Sarda - Valledoria is ready and waiting for you on your  holiday, to show you all the oenogastronomic excellence of the area.

prodotti tipiciSardinian home cooking,  an explosion of different tastes and flavours, which will delight you during your stay with us here in Valledoria.

First of all, it should be pointed out that the food and cooking of an area is always the result of the culture of the people and history of that place.

Local flavours  are born from what the area has to offer, the lifestyle evolved over the course of time, and the various ethnic influences which have developed and continue to develop typical local cuisine and its traditions.

So before we start talking about typical dishes of the area, it would be a good idea to talk about the area itself.

Valledoria is part of the historic territory of Anglona, in the heart of the North coast of Sardinia, a central point in the Golfo dell'Asinara, (see more information about this on the Island within an Island page), in the Province of Sassari.

Over time,  various different cultures have passed through this area, right from the first Palaeolithic age settlements and through their evolution, right up to the present day, they have transformed a daily necessity, that of food and drink, into an element of social sharing and economic development, represented today by the entire local typical food production process and its quality.
As an area of transit, Anglona has always been an economic crossroads, with its roots in agriculture, sheep farming and stock grazing, and the sale of essential products and those of the area.

The typical local cuisine has therefore been closely linked to what the area has always offered, together with what was easily to hand for everyday food and drink.

At the same time,  the recipes at the heart of this cuisine were created either making use of products that could be consumed during the daily working conditions, for example when following the activities and tasks involved in sheep-farming, or locally produced products, but also those products that could last for days, and longer, which were intended for those who for reasons of business or work, were often far away from home.

Special events, on the other hand, saw the creation of foods and specialities that were expensive and needed great preparation, those which were worthy of being consumed on important occasions.

The area of the lower Coghinas valley has always been fertile ground, but initially, due to the effects of the river, was marshy and boggy.

Valledoria - Carciofo spinoso sardoAgriculture really only came to the fore following the land reclamation and drainage schemes, which turned the valley into a series of fields protected by well-constructed dykes, and which guaranteed a level of irrigation able to satisfy the need for water.

Precisely as a result of these schemes,  artichokes, tomatoes, melons, water melons and vegetables in general have become established as the main agricultural products, and thus the rise to importance of Valledoria  in the last thirty years.

Likewise, through  various forms of fish and sea-food, both the river and the sea offer excellent alternative forms of cuisine.

Let’s go and find out more about these local specialities.
As this is a portal dedicated to responsible tourism, one thing that we would like you to do during your holiday here, is to discover more about our local products, for two reasons. Firstly, because they are geniunely excellent in terms of quality, and secondly, because a minimum distance between producer and consumer is a highly responsible way to live in and respect a place, reducing as much as possible the costs of transport, the environmental impact on the whole production process and the related ethical forms of behaviour.

Local food and drink: Valledoria hors d’oeuvre 

Locally raised meat, game and the flavour of the land can be found in the local hors d’oeuvre, particularly tasty  pork sausage, or wild boar, prepared in the traditional style (usually not spicy and sometimes smoked, and flavoured with various spices).

Cheeses, especially the pecorino produced in nearby Perfugas, or the peretta, whether fresh or mature, represent a truly unique delight, not to mention the spicy crema di formaggio (cream of cheese); local production can provide cheeses that are fresh, semi-matured, or well matured.

Valledoria - ricci di mareAmong the other types of starters there are local products preserved in oil, such as baby artichokes, cardoons, aubergines, courgettes, and  small onions.
From the sea it is easy to find excellent sea urchins and dishes using octopus, commonly found in the sea near La Ciaccia, mussels, anchovies, and sardines  - these are plentiful in the Golfo dell'Asinara.

Local food and drink: Valledoria first courses

There are numerous first courses, some influenced by nearby Gallura.

By now, even in Anglona, the "suppa gallurese" is often found and presented as a local dish. This speciality is prepared using layers of typical local flat bread, in sheets, sheep and beef broth, pecorino cheese, herbs, extravirgin oil and salt. If accompanied by "ghisatu", a sauce created using the meat boiled to make the broth together with a tomato sauce, this dish is truly magnificent.

You should also try "Lu panafitti", pieces of flat unleavened bread with  sauce and
various herbs, which is really good.

Among the “hand-made” pasta there are the famous gnocchetti sardi, cooked with a meat and tomato sauce, and  ravioli, also prepared with a sauce containing local meat and pecorino cheese.

If you should find yourself in Valledoria, during the sea urchin season, you absolutely must try pasta with sea urchins, a royal treat.

Over the years, the specific cuisine found in Valledoria has seen the development of different dishes with dressings and sauces using local products like artichokes, mixed with chilli pepper, bottarga, or other skilful combinations.

Then there is the fish soup, which if correctly prepared becomes a dish that you cannot avoid trying, with different varieties of fish, such as rockfish, sargo bream, conger eel, and other smaller kinds. When this is skillfully prepared using a combination of onion, garlic, various herbs and chilli pepper, the slow gentle heat of the stove produces a truly noteworthy dish.

Local food and drink: Valledoria second courses

PorcettoWe are in Sardinia, so the royal majesty of the maialetto arrosto, roast suckling piglet, is an obligatory experience. Coooked using the methods handed down over the years, the exterior is crunchy while the meat inside although perfectly cooked, is tender and melts in the mouth.

But we must not forget  oven-cooked kid goat, roast lamb,  or lamb stew with olives. Slightly more earthy, if well-cooked,  wild boar is a particular experience, as well as wild hare with sauce, and other small game birds always served with a spicy tomato sauce. As in the Sassari area, here in Anglona,  donkey, usually served in slices, is often suggested and has an excellent taste.

Moving on to sea food, mixed grilled fish, or cooked individually with herbs or potatoes, allow you to try the snapper, amberjack, gilthead bream, grouper, sea bass, weakfish, black seabream, red mullet, grey mullet, and numerous other local fish prepared by expert hands to guarantee  succulent lunches or dinners as you wish.
As long as it’s well cooked, don’t forget to try the skate, which is common here in the Gulf in certain periods.
Moving on to shellfish, there are the unfortunately few but very good local lobsters and spider crab as well as crayfish and other crabs.

Carciofi Valledoria

All these second courses can be accompanied with local vegetables and other specialities, notably onions  and  roast artichokes, which are also excellent when cooked simply in water with parsley and garlic, grilled vegetables, such as aubergines, courgettes, rather than fresh vegetables with fish.

Apart from the cultivation of fruit which is commonly available everywhere else in Italy, locally -grown watermelons and melons are particularly prized. In fact, it was a local custom to set aside a good quantity of melons, although it was rare that they made it as far as Christmas, not because they didn’t last, but because they were too good and after a few months it was too tempting to not to finish them up...

Sweets and cakes
A sore point for those on a diet, once in Sardinia  it is impossible not to try the seadas, a particular fried dessert with a pastry shell, filled with ricotta cheese and then once cooked, covered with honey; then there are formaggelle, a pastry cup filled with soft cheese, amaretti, then dolci con la saba, and papassini, shortbread pastries covered with icing.  

Lu filuferru, a typcially local distilled liqueur, has the (by now disproved) reputation of helping any digestive system, of banishing the sense of shame felt after having eaten too much; it remains in any case a fine tonic, for those with a taste for strong flavours. There is also limoncino and mirto for those who appreciate slightly sweeter drinks, as well as the fine arancino, and other liqueurs flavoured with local fruit.

In this section, we will soon be presenting a guide that will allow you to put together a local food and drink route, offered  by local suppliers, where, to go into more detail, you will have the opportunity to sample numerous local specialities, which you can also try by visiting Valledoria and discovering its flavours.

Ciao Valledoria - Environment protection no profit association - Responsible tourism promotion - Valledoria (SS) - Italy