In our earthy crunchy Pioneer Valley, we like to talk about eating local. We talk about 12-mile meals, and eating farm-to-table, but tonight, I have them all beat. Once again, on a visit to Italy’s magic island, Sardinia, I’ve eaten a 100 foot meal, and boy was it good!
We drove out toward the coast, to the Sinis Peninsula, to Agritourismo Il Sinis. Here, brother and sister Salvatore and Magdelena Porcu brought out dish after dish of simple food that all came from their farm. They offer 20 rooms for guests and a large dining room where the star is the food that they raise themselves. The only item that they didn’t grow or make themselves was the bread. “We only make that during the winter,” they told us.
Set before us as we entered were a panoply of plates. Grilled eggplants and peppers. Fried eggplant balls, stewed beef, fried squash blossoms, olives and artichokes…and these were only the starters. Then Magdalena brought out her homemade ravioli, filled with ricotta, and after sweeping away our second plates, the piece de resistance, suckling pig, two months old, from the barnyard. They told us that the sows had plenty more piglets for their table, and don’t worry–if the nine of us didn’t finish the groaning board, “roast pig is better the next day anyway.”
We were dining with five Marine biologists, Georgio, 39, Stefanie, 34 two Andreas, 40 and 34 and Sabine, who had done a demonstration hours before about their work trying to save loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean. The wine in little carafes flowed, and then Salvatore broke out his own liqueurs–one bright green made from wild fennel, and another from pears. We asked them how the got those big pears into that those small bottles. And they said that many of the trees branches grow right into the empty bottles, affixed with rope the a branch!
It was another night of fun conversation and discovery. Magdalena showed us photos on her phone, stabbing at the screen, of the marvel and seemingly unusual yellow tomatoes. Then she brought out an egg from one of their ostriches–which when cracked can make an omelette that serves 12 people.
Times like these are when I revel in my life as a travel writer, I enjoy meeting people like this, hearing their stories and eating such delicious food that came from right here.