Inside Sardinia: A Traditional Cooking Method

Inside Sardinia: A Traditional Cooking Method

The first time I saw this method of cooking was some years ago in a small town, in the folds of a mountain in Sardinia, Italy. A  friend who lives a few mountains over had invited me for lunch, and when I arrived the first thing I noticed was the ancient red brick fireplace and clock. It had just snowed in Sardinia and it was cold, so I a found a spot right beside the fireplace to warm up. Upon closer inspection of the red-hot flames I saw slices of pancetta and pork chops sizzling away above the hot embers. The aroma, better than a barbecue and the taste impeccable. I’d never tasted meat so fresh and exquisite.

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Roasting meat in the middle of a living-room was a first for me, and I can’t wait to delve into this tradition yet again.

What is the strangest place you’ve seen meat being cooked?

Inside Sardinia: A Distorted Nature’s Poem

Inside Sardinia: A Distorted Nature’s Poem

Inside Sardinia: A distorted Nature’s poem …

jennifer-avventura-my-sardinian-life-2016

I grow flat along the red rocky earth
with only the wind to guide me.
My nutrients I steal from the sea
with only the wind to guide me.
I yearn to reach new heights
with only the wind to guide me.
I’ve learned to reach the mountain peak
with the wind holding my hand, beside me.

Inside Sardinia: Valle della Luna

Inside Sardinia: Valle della Luna

Valle della Luna –  a mecca in the 60’s and known all over Sardinia as a hippie hangout, is one of the most surreal and controversial places I have ever seen. A vast valley in the north of Sardinia made up of colossal granite formations and where seven different valleys carry you to the sea or deep into the crevasses of Sardinia’s interior.

It’s surreal in the sense of being on a film set, it doesn’t feel real. The massive formations of granite take on shapes and faces, bringing alive the valley and its ghosts. Surreal because you are instantly transported to another absurd, panoramic view that leaves one in awe, in awe of earth and life.

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Controversial because of the people who live deep within Valle della Luna’s grottos and mountainous terrains, people who live freely, people who still adopt the same principles and lifestyles of those famous hippies of the 60’s. Controversial because some people want to stop that lifestyle.

Valle della Luna, one of the most spectacular places I have ever seen and I’m eager to discover her seven hidden valleys.

Fall in Love with Traditional Shoes from Oliena, Sardinia

Fall in Love with Traditional Shoes from Oliena, Sardinia

Too much time was spent in awe and looking up of all things Oliena, at this years Autunno in Barbagia – Cortes Apertas 2016, that when I did look down, I found these intricately sewn, traditional shoes.

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Now if I could only find them in my size.

Do you ever take the time to “look down” while on vacation?

Handcrafted Gifts from Oliena, Sardinia

Handcrafted Gifts from Oliena, Sardinia

The thing that sticks with me the most from my weekend getaway to Oliena are the people. In every cortes (home) we entered, we were greeted with humble welcomes and gracious smiles. Each and every artist was eager to explain his or her handcrafted goods. I popped into cortes Sa Mea and was warmly greeted by Angelo. I was drawn to the traditional necklaces he had placed on an old tree. I picked up a necklace and a bell rang out, I must have looked surprised as Angelo quickly came over to offer the background to the necklace I eventually purchased.

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The necklace is worn by women who are pregnant. The bell bounces on the woman’s stomach, ringing out soft chimes for the developing baby to hear, supposedly calming the baby and calling out to the angels for protection.

Even though I have no intention of becoming pregnant, I was still drawn to the necklace, its sound and sway, so I bought it. I peeked around the small shop and noticed a yellow face in the shape of the island of Sardinia. I love yellow, I love Sardinia and I love handcrafted goods, so another little gift in the bag.

If you’re interested to know more about this artist:

Sa Mea – Creazioni Artistiche
Angelo Brundu
(349) 880-2126
angelottos@tiscali.it

Do you like to buy traditional gifts from the country you visit?

Inside Sardinia: The People of Cortes Apertas at Oliena

Inside Sardinia: The People of Cortes Apertas at Oliena

From early September to the beginning of December small towns throughout the Barbagia region of Sardinia open their doors for tourists and locals alike. It’s a refreshing time to wander ancient alleys and discover a Sardinia from hundreds of years ago while sampling the local flavours of wine, beer, bread, sweets, suckling pig, wild boar gnocchi and so much more! Here are just a few of the warm, generous people we met during our adventure to Oliena for Cortes Apertas – Autunno in Barbagia 2016.

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It is here at the foot of the Supramonte mountain where you can immerse yourself in a world of historical flavours, ancient traditions, and spectacular panoramic views of neighbouring towns and mountain ranges so vast, wild and spectacular that it leaves your mind and soul spinning.

A huge thank-you to the people of Oliena, who put on a spectacular event, who opened their hearts, homes and traditions to the world and who collectively put a smile on thousands of people’s faces, including mine. The memories will last a lifetime. Grazie mille.

Have you gone to any Cortes Apertas – Autunno in Barbagia? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Inside Sardinia: Cork from the Gallura

Inside Sardinia: Cork from the Gallura

Sardinian cork oak grows in abundance in the northwestern part of the island. The forests are large and breathtaking and the capital of cork in Sardinia is a small mountain town called Calangianus in the province of Olbia-Tempio.

Cork planks are used to create some fascinating items like: kitchen utensils, serving trays, containers, insulation, spice stands and various souvenirs like: purses, notebooks and postcards.

85% of Italy’s bottled cork comes from the northwestern region of the Gallura.

June cork by Jennifer Avventura

Cork oak is first harvested when the tree reaches the age of 25-30 years and then harvested every 10 years after. The lifespan of a cork oak 150 years.

Have you checked your cork lately?

Dear Sardinia: I miss you more than you will ever know

Dear Sardinia: I miss you more than you will ever know

Eleven months ago I left my heart and soul in Sardinia, and my mind has never forgiven me. There are times I scroll through thousands of photographs just to see if I can still remember her, to see if I can remember her salt water smell, or the panorama from hundreds of meters above the sea. There are times when my heart aches so deeply for her that it bleeds memories of mirto, running from herded cows on the street, learning dialect, endless blue skies and sampling any of the fabulous dishes her country people offer.

Petrified Forest of Carrucana, Martis, Sardinia

It’s never good-bye, it’s I’ll see you later. And I will.

*Petrified Forest of Carrucana, Martis, Sardinia

Inside Sardinia: Enchanting Forests

Inside Sardinia: Enchanting Forests

There is nothing more enchanting than beautifully moss-covered forests, and Sardinia is jam-packed with these earthly delights.

Jennifer Avventura 2014 My Sardinian Life

Do you like to hike within the deep folds of a forest?

Inside Sardinia – Feelings of Nostalgia

When nostalgia gets the better of me, I turn to her …

Sardinia!

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