Eerie Food from Sardinia – Casu Marzu

Eerie Food from Sardinia – Casu Marzu

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

Carrot and Ginger Soup

©I woke this morning to crisp cool air and instantly had a hankering for Carrot & Ginger soup. I don’t know what brought on this desire, as I’ve never eaten carrot & ginger soup. I went about my ways and searched the web for recipes and I found this super easy recipe – to which I changed a little and added a few of my own ingredients.

How to make Carrot & Ginger Soup

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I want to live in Sardinia – answering your questions

Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (8)Once in a blue moon this little blog receives an email about the cost of living in Sardinia, Italy and today I am answering one readers email.

Dear JP,

Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate that you follow along My Sardinian Life and I hope I can shed some light on your decision to move to Sardinia, Italy.

Your questions answered:

“Based on various information, most importantly your blog, it seems to me living a simple life in Sardinia would cost us (couple with a little one on the way) 12K€ per year. That is, including rent, insurance, food, transport (thankfully we can drive since we’re EU), etc. There doesn’t seem to be any rent under 350 euro/month on the various immo web sites, insurances would add a hundred, 400 for food, 50 for gas, leaving a hundred for the rest & incidentals. Seeing the GDP per capita is less then 20K, it seems to me that jobs paying 1000 net per month are not to be found on Sardinia. So my first question would be: do you think we are completely off the charts with our budgeting 12K/yr for a simple life in Sardinia?

Searching for the simple life in Sardinia can be done but will need patience and hard work.

Rent

Any apartments closer to the sea will cost you more. If you move away from the sea even just 15 minutes you can lower your monthly rent by a good €50. Also, don’t be afraid to haggle with your landlord about prices. If you decide to move to Sardinia in the middle of August expect rent to soar! Try moving here sometime between September – March when most rentals are empty.

Food

We are a two person household and I spend about €120 a week on groceries. This includes: food, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, shampoos & soaps. Food is expensive in Sardinia. Yesterday my husband came home from the local farmers with: 3 melons, 2 watermelons, a crate of figs, 2 onions, one giant peach, 4 cucumbers and 5 zucchini, he paid €25 – at a discounted rate.

Gas

Gas is cheaper in the larger cities like: Sassari, Tempio, Cagliari and Nuoro. If you find yourself in an out-of-the-way little town with a car running on fumes expect to pay at least .20c more. We live in a small little town and if I look out my window I can see the price of gas: €1.77 a litre.

Jobs

I work in the hospitality industry which is very seasonal (only two months a year) in Sardinia and I make €1500 a month. This is because I have over 23 years experience serving the public and I speak English. I would never settle for €1000 a month. Others that are doing the same job as me are making between €1000 – €1700 a month. Be ready to haggle for your salary like I have done.

In the off-season I teach English to school aged children and I charge €15 an hour. Those with a degree in English charge anywhere from €20 – €45 an hour.

Do I think you are completely off the charts with budgeting 12K/yr for a simple life in Sardinia? No. But I would try to find a job considering you have a little one on the way.

Like you our Italian is cosicosi, then again, we’d need to speak the local dialect more then Italian. You say on your blog for the kind of jobs you are looking for you need Italian. I’m wondering, how well does one get away with basic Italian in daily life? Outside of your town, are you being looked at as a tourist as soon as you “open your mouth” and being treated as a tourist, or is integrating with the locals and being treated as one feasible? What is your experience having lived there a few years? Can one feel “at home” after a while and be treated as “a local”?

I don’t speak the local dialect to anyone but my husband and nor should you. Most locals are offended if you speak dialect. Study Italian and study a lot. Every Sardinian speaks Italian and will understand you when you are at their shop ordering chicken cutlets for dinner. Learning and understanding the dialect will come with time and patience but its most important to learn Italian first. Just forget that a local dialect even exists.

I’ve now been in Sardinia 5.5 years. The first year(s) I was treated like a tourist but that soon faded when the locals saw my face every morning in their shops. I am now considered half Sardinian and I have integrated myself into their lives with much patience, understanding and a few flubbed upped words. Locals are more curious about your life and who you are. They are very welcoming, kind and completely honest but you must make the first move. Be sure to say buongiorno when entering shops even if you don’t see anyone.

Well JP, I hope this answers your questions. Please fell free to add any more questions in the comment section below.

And to any of my Sardinian followers: if you have any insight for JP and his family please speak up.

Kind regards

Jennifer Avventura

From the Sardinian recipe box: Tortino di patate ~ Potato Pie

Think of it as a potato lasagna but without the tomato sauce and you’ve got yourself an easy winner for lunch or dinner any day of the week.

I first posted this photo on my Facebook page and it got a lot of comments for the recipe, so I decided to share the recipe and the little story of how it came to be. I hope you enjoy.

Tortino di patate ~ Potato Pie

Monday morning – it’s market day and I have no idea Continue reading

Travel Theme: Food | My Sardinian Life

I’d like to jump on the bandwagon for this week’s Travel Theme … Food. Yummy. I’ve been around the world a few times and have sampled some of the greatest and, not so great dishes our planet has to offer.

Follow me on the photographic voyage …

A nice young man selling freshly caught oysters with a lime zest in Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro. I said no thank you to these critters, who knows where they came from and how clean they are!

Nothing beats good ole home-cooked barbecued spare ribs. Bring it on Canada.

Holding true to tradition in Sardinia, Italy is handmade Canestre by a Canadian! You can read more about this special treat in my post here.

My Mom (who was born in England) has been making this banana bread for the better part of my life. She passed the recipe down to me when I was finally mature enough to measure stuff and turn the oven on. This is an all time favourite in our house, the recipe has now been handed down to my ten-year old niece who loves to chat to me on Skype about it.

Traditional Sardinian cookies handmade with love by my island friend. These are made around important religious holidays and  given to the church, neighbours, family and friends. They are divine.

More of the beautiful Sardinian tradition. Such detail and elegance. Chomp.

Cooked to order – Horse meat in Sardinia, Italy. Click here to read an eye-opening post on horse meat consumption around the world. And no … I have not and will not try this tradition. You?

A special thanks to Ailsa over at Where’s my backpack? for a delicious theme this week.

Click here to see what other bloggers are eating.

Top 10 Taste Sensations to Leave Your Mouth Watering in Sardinia, Italy

Everyone loves a good nosh, and there is no other place in the world where they do food, as good as they do here, in Sardinia.

The Sardinian natives have for centuries used the land to farm pig, sheep, wild boar and rabbit. Never in my life have I tasted food so fresh and unique, my taste buds scream with happiness every time I take a bite.

If you are planning a trip to Sardinia, I offer one piece of advice: Eat like the locals, enjoy the flavours and uniqueness that only this island can offer.

Top 10 Taste Sensations to Leave Your Mouth Watering in Sardinia, Italy

10.  Horsemeat or cavallo is high in protein, tender, sweet and low in fat. You will find horsemeat on most restaurant menus and in the butcher shop. Horsemeat in Sardinia is as natural as eating a 14 oz beef steak in Texas. Ask for: cavallo.

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Eating Made Easy | Oven Baked Endive

Oven Baked Endive is a delicious alternative to potatoes. Packed with oodles of minerals and vitamins, you just can’t go wrong with this choice. Now let me tell you how easy it is.

My Oven Baked Endive | Eating Made Easy by Jennifer Avventura

Oven Baked Endive

Endive is one serious vegetable, it’s versatility

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Eating Made Easy | Oven Baked Eggplant

Do you love to eat but can’t afford to eat in restaurants every night? Are you looking for a clean way of eating, a way to get those veggies in, that is easy and simple?

Then you’ve clicked the right link. Today is your lucky day. You have won the wonderful surprise of knowledge. Knowledge in cooking, and baking your way to an easy and cleaner life.

But first let me explain: I am not a professional chef, nor do I play one on the internet. Everything you see and read here has come from my (in)sane head. Use at your own discretion.

 My Oven Baked Eggplant | Eating Made Easy by Jennifer Avventura.

Oven Baked Eggplant

Eggplants and aubergines come in different shapes, colours and sizes. There are long ones, short ones, skinny ones, white ones, Continue reading

The Sardinian Sea Urchin. A Delicacy.

Sea Urchins are found in the ocean the world over.  They range in size from six to twelve centimeters and come in many different colors.  Red, purple, brown, green and black.  They are spiny round creatures that live in shallow rocky waters.  They move extremely slow on hundreds of tiny tube feet and feed on algae.  Their spines range from one to three centimeters in length, and they use these ferocious spines as a protection barrier against predators. These spiny strange creatures are considered an aphrodisiac and in many parts of the world they are in extreme high demand.

Sardinian Sea Urchin

In many parts of the world the roe (which are the urchins internal ovaries) are a culinary delicacy.  In Japan good roe can cost around $450kg. Continue reading

Fish Heads and Potatoes

I want to write but I can’t find the words.  Heavy dense clouds dance outside the bay windows; playing with my mind, stealing my words.  Please enjoy the following pics I took from a recent hike.

Trails and Trees

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