There has been quite a lot going on, even though we feel like slow motion – still tired and Rene is jet lagged. After finally getting to our little apartment after 12+ hours of bus, hotel, bus, train station, bus, airport, plane, airport, taxi we loaded in and immediately went back out and across the street to a teeny, tiny store, about the size of my garage. We picked up coffee, cream, fennel, basil, tomatoes, wine, some Sardegnian cheese and a few slices of a local pancetta and a six pack of those incredible eggs…oh, and a couple of rolls. We made a feast of wine and cheese and bread and sweet cherry tomatoes before we hit the sack and when we finally climbed out of our stupor in the morning (like maybe just before noon) we put on the coffee.
Our apartment description said, “well equipped kitchen”, which means there is at least a wine opener, a Moka pot, a skillet, a pasta pot and a colander. All present and accounted for. As our Lavazza Red perked away I put a few slices of the pancetta in the skillet. It is cured with the belly wrapped around the loin, sort of porchetta style and perfectly cured. When it curled up a bit I dropped those fabulous orange-yolked eggs into their bacon nest and we had a glorious breakfast. Rene has a penchant for persimmons and they are in season now and soooo sweet and ripe it is like cutting open the skin of a bag of persimmon preserves. Yum!
After breakfast we decided to take a walk over to the Locanda, the restaurant and inn where we checked in for our apartment. It looked to be less than a mile on our map, we were refreshed and full and ready for an adventure. Two hours, many stops for directions and map interpretations, a bum steer from the Vodafone guy, up a pretty steep hill and in and out of questionable neighborhoods……FINALLY, we found our spot. After making dinner reservations for that night, we called a taxi!
Once we got back to the airport and picked up our car (Rene calls it a roller skate) we installed Carmen the Garmin and headed back home. Our dinner was at a Slow Food Restaurant. Slow Food is a movement that began in Italy in the far north, the land of Barolo wine and white truffles. The Slow Food Movement is exactly the opposite of Fast Food. It is food that our grandparents ate, crafted, not manufactured, grown without pharmaceuticals, treating the land with respect as well as the animals and the workers. It is local food, seasonal, clean and fair..and in Europe, of course, there is no GMO, ever.
Our dinner started with a basket of bread and a small pot of warm spread (potato puree, with artichoke, and grated Bortaga. Bortaga is specific to Sadegna and they consider it a delicacy, but it is wasted on me. It is dried, salted Mullet roe, but it just tastes salty to me. It was a nice combo though and then we moved on to Steamed calamari over almond pesto with a hint of citrus – THAT was terrific. Hopefully, you will have a chance to taste that after I practice a bit. We shared a less memorable artichoke and potato fritter in a pumpkin puree with a tiny taste of local ricotta. Good, but no comparison.
Next we tried a homemade pasta with wild boar and a thick soup of a local legume similar to a dried pea. Different flavor, quite nice and in keeping with the Slow Food mantra of keeping heritage varieties alive. By the time our entrees came we were way too full. We had been sipping Cannanou wine, something I tasted 2 years ago and it was so robust and spicey that it was this wine the led me to Sardegna….just to see what food these people might eat with this unique wine. One ocean fish that was as delicate as trout and one local stew made with a local white wine, a Vermentina. Very good, but if there was a wine in there it was lost on me. The stew was laid over one of their local bread specialties – Carta di Musica, a paper thin sheet of dough baked until crisp and served in the whole or half round.
No room for dessert for me, but Rene tried the chocolate and cream cake and pronounced it – OK. We had been at table from 8:30 when the restaurant opened until 11:30 PM!!!!