Two days ago, we arrived in the remote town of Torre di Bari on the eastern coast of Sardinia, a rural and actually quite rustic community on the Tyrrhenian sea. Other than being soothed to sleep by the sound of the surf and the swish of pine trees, awoken by doves cooing in the morning and breathing the lovely sea breeze on the terrace, we are discovering some of the Sardinian culinary products.
For our aperitivo, we tried some sausage from a nearby town, Villagrande, along with some mild sheep's cheese and the local flat bread, "pistoccu". The bread is the simplest thing you can imagine. It was made to last while the sheep herders were tending their herds, apparently it keeps for up to eight months. I bought the whole wheat version, containing only stone ground semolina, water, salt and leavening agent. It's bland but surprisingly addictive with its strong crunch, I find myself munching on this without realizing how much I've been eating.
Talk about remote, there is almost no commerce here. Just one supermarket in a nearby town which is good for provisions, but other than that we're buying fresh fruit and veggies at roadside stands, all grown here in the countryside. This morning I ate a peach that was the most succulent and flavorful I've ever tasted and it was actually a shame that I contaminated it with yogurt and weetabix cereal.
Last night I sauteed up some onion, garlic, zucchini and red pepper in local olive oil and made their local pasta called fregola sarda, toasted semoline pasta- a close relative to Moroccan couscous, only a bit larger and not uniform in shape. Roman enjoyed it tossed with some olive oil and parmesan. We sampled some of their local wine, cannonau, from a guy we met in town, but more on that later when we visit a vineyard.