Cortes Apertas is an open house, held yearly in several towns and cities in the deep, vast tremendous centre of Sardinia – Barbagia. It is a colourful festival run by the locals of each town; they open their doors to the wonders of their beautiful, simple life, far away from wi-fi and reality tv. They show you how to make long pasta and pasta with your thumb and they ask if you’d like to take part, to try the ancient traditions that have been hidden away and kept secret for so many decades, all the while filling your cup with homemade wine, liqueur, and beer. Continue reading
Casu Marzu is eerie, very, very eerie. It’s a pungent cheese made from sheep milk and is left outside, uncovered, to rot. Tiny cheese flies infest the cheesy block and lay their off-spring, billions of small transparent maggots. The larvae feed on the cheese, thus causing fermentation and allowing the casu marzu to fully decompose into an eerie, stinky, creamy and highly sought after delicacy from the mountains of Sardinia. The moment I saw the sign above the door I knew what I had to do. Continue reading
I caught the bus early Saturday morning to meet up with a friend in Sassari. We filled the car with an expensive tank of gas and headed south down SS131 towards the elusive province of Barbagia in the heart of Sardinia. We headed to an ‘open-house’ in the ancient neighbourhood of Toneri, Tonara in the province of Nuoro.
It is here, in the heart of Sardinia, where you can immerse yourself in a world of historical flavours, ancient traditions, narrow alleyways and spectacular views from the surrounding mountains. It’s also here where they make the world-famous torrone but I’m saving that juicy, delicious bit for another post.